AMERICAN1 education at all levels is under constant review by teachers, students, parents, and interested citizens. Scrutiny of higher education has been especially intense in recent years because of the steadily rising percentage of a rapidly growing population which attends college; because of the scientific, technical, social, and political revolutions through which we and other peoples of the world are passing; and because of the challenge to our institutions and values posed by Communism and the Communist state system dominated by the Soviet Union. These analyses have fluctuated, with interest high during one period in the sciences, in another period in foreign languages, in a third period in some other aspect of American education. However, since the end of the Second World War in particular, when the United States was forced to accept large international responsibilities, many Americans have been especially concerned about the effectiveness with which our schools and colleges are preparing our students—the average as well as the academically talented— for life in a shrinking world where our obligations and interests are inevitably becoming ever more connected with those of other peoples.
Many thoughtful citizens, in examining the relevancy of our education for life in the second half of the twentieth century, have become convinced that developments in science and international affairs make necessary a radical departure from established procedures. In particular they have come to believe that our educational system does not pay sufficient attention to the history, intellectual activity, patterns of culture, and interests of peoples living outside the Americas and Western Europe. They demand, along with President Comelis W. de Kiewiet, of the University of Rochester, that we attain the “pervading awareness throughout the total body of the curriculum of the great transformations in the modern world which have the cumulative effect of producing the greatest crisis in human history.”
The United States has an extraordinary variety of institutions of higher education—large and small, rich and poor, urban and rural, state and private, liberal and technical and professional, religious and secular, old and new, good and bad. Consequently, while many know well one institution, or a few institutions, no one can speak with accuracy concerning American education in general and the kind of information and understanding it provides concerning other peoples in particular. The state of Indiana was therefore selected as a sample state, and a pilot study of undergraduate education in Indiana was completed in the spring and early summer of 1958. We consider the Indiana sample fairly representative of American higher education in general, although Indiana probably has a slightly higher percentage of church-related colleges and a lower percentage of junior colleges than the country as a whole. The latter figure is raised, however, if one considers the fourteen extension centers of Indiana University and Purdue University as equivalent to junior colleges.
This paper, therefore, has drawn its conclusions, which we believe are relevant for all American undergraduate education, from an intensive study of the kind of education concerning the non-Western areas of the world which the colleges and universities of the state of Indiana now provide their undergraduates, of the problems these institutions face with regard to this particular subject, and of the objectives, methods, and ideas of administrators and faculty. It is based on the firm conviction that liberal education is indispensable to American democracy and that a thorough knowledge of American and other Western history, institutions, and values must constitute the core of American liberal education. On the other hand, it also assumes that knowledge of other areas and cultures must be diffused throughout our educational system if the latter is to keep pace with the vast changes which now affect the world and our role in it.
The survey began with a careful study of the catalogs and other published information of the Indiana universities and colleges. Visits were then made to each campus and conversations were held with presidents, deans, faculty members, and librarians. Thirty-four institutions enrolling approximately 65,000 undergraduates were studied in this fashion (see pp. 155-56 for a list of the institutions). Of these, three large universities—Indiana, Notre Dame, and Purdue—and their extension centers account for approximately half the total. Two large teachers colleges—Indiana State, at Terre Haute, and Ball State, at Muncie—have a combined total of about 7,500 undergraduates. The remaining twenty-nine institutions have an average undergraduate enrollment of slightly less than 1,000, with a range of about 250 to 2,000. Of these twenty-nine colleges, twenty are small (under 1,000 in all but one case), church-related institutions: twelve Protestant and eight Catholic. Three are small technical and engineering colleges, five are predominantly nonsectarian liberal arts institutions (although four of these have a nominal tie with a Protestant denomination), and one is a junior college. Twenty-five of the thirty-four institutions are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Situation in the State of Indiana. Twenty-eight of the thirty-four institutions of higher education in Indiana are generally classed as liberal arts colleges. In only six of these institutions, however, do the majority of the students follow a purely liberal arts program. In fourteen colleges, the majority of the students are enrolled in teacher training programs which include a number of education courses, or in semiprofessional curricula (technical, business administration, pre-seminary, nursing, etc.) which include a number of specialized technical courses not of a liberal arts nature. In eight schools, about half the students follow a liberal arts program, with the other half in teacher training or semiprofessional programs. On the basis of this survey, it is clear that a large number of potential teachers in American elementary and secondary schools are being trained outside of the teachers colleges and in what are generally considered liberal arts colleges. Therefore, an increase in the attention devoted to non-Western areas of the world in the undergraduate colleges would soon have a significant impact upon secondary and, to some extent, elementary education.
Teachers colleges themselves present a special opportunity so far as education relating to non-Western areas is concerned. The two large teachers colleges in Indiana have more than 7,000 students each year, while the School of Education in Indiana University and the program in education at Purdue University reach several hundred more. Most of the students in these schools learn almost nothing concerning the non-Western world, and only one or two per cent study a foreign language for even two years. In large part, this situation is a result, as it is in most colleges, of heavy emphasis in the required curriculum on courses dealing with the history and traditions of American and Western civilization. In addition, students in the teachers colleges are generally required to allot about one-seventh of their total program to courses in educational techniques and in practice teaching. Consequently, they can take only a limited number of elective courses, few of which, in any case, deal with non-Western problems. Nevertheless, these students as teachers, particularly as social studies teachers in American history, world history, and problems-of-democracy courses, are expected to help educate their students concerning areas and problems in the world about which their own information is at best rudimentary.
According to the testimony of teachers-college faculty members, a number of teachers in training are interested in learning about the non-Western world and in preparing themselves to carry some knowledge of other cultures to their students. The current trend in teacher education toward requiring a fifth year of preparation for a number of teachers may afford real opportunities for the development and satisfaction of such interests. In general, it is clear that primary and secondary education in Indiana would be enormously broadened and enriched in the long run if students in the teachers colleges and schools of education received greater incentive and opportunity to acquire some knowledge of the non-Western areas.
While teachers colleges offer a special opportunity for education concerning non-Western areas, the technical institutions present a particular problem. As a rule, students in such schools complete substantially less work in the humanities and social sciences than do students in other institutions; consequently, they are normally even less exposed to material concerning the non-Western world. The liberal arts courses in these schools are therefore especially important, not only for the student as a citizen but notably for the growing number of technicians in fields such as agriculture and petroleum engineering who may eventually engage in overseas work for private companies, the federal government, or international organizations.
On the other hand, Soviet scientific and technical achievements have raised the question of instruction in the Russian language to some prominence in the technical institutions. Several administrators and faculty members in these schools believe that Russian language training should be made available for undergraduates in science and engineering, particularly for those who may go on to graduate study. Purdue University offers Russian, which is taken by over one hundred students. Rose Polytechnic Institute has recently appointed a language instructor to teach German; his major language competence is Russian, however, and he may offer Russian in the near future.
The Curriculum. Generally, and properly, Indiana undergraduate curricula are oriented strongly toward the history, tradition, and thought of Western European and American civilization. At the same time, scant attention is paid to the non-Western cultures. For example, at even such an outstanding small college as Earlham, with its long tradition of interest in foreign areas, only 4.2 per cent of the total student semester hours in 1957-58 were in courses having some non-Western content, and only 14 per cent in courses, excluding languages, having substantial international and foreign content of all kinds (West European, Latin-American, and non-Western).2
In the Indiana colleges and universities as a whole, the introductory courses taken in the social sciences and humanities by the majority of undergraduate students (some undergraduates have no courses in the social sciences or humanities) refer to Russia, East Central Europe, and Asia only in passing, and to Africa hardly at all. Even the eleven courses which are histories of world civilization or general introductions to world civilization (see Table II-1) treat non-Western cultures briefly and focus primarily on Western civilization. Most instructors in these courses have concentrated on the United States or Western Europe in their graduate study; consequently, they tend to give most attention to the subject matter they know best. Nevertheless, the “world civilization” courses include more nonWestern history than do the surveys of European civilization, which are the basic courses in history in most institutions.
In the humanities, twenty-five institutions offer a course on world literature; such a course is generally required for those in training to teach elementary school. Here again, however, the attention given non-Western cultures is minimal. In most cases, students read six or eight brief selections from Asian writers; Crime and Punishment, by Dostoievsky, or a Tolstoy novel; and a play or short story by Chekhov. Generally, this is the only attention devoted to non-Western areas in humanities courses, except where a course on comparative religions or an advanced course on modern drama or literature is offered. Such courses nod at least in the direction of other areas and cultures as they rush along. Even so, the advanced literature or drama courses, while usually including a few Russian novels or plays, seldom mention an Asian author, and never an African one.
A few other general courses in particular disciplines devote some degree of attention to the non-Western world. For example, although there is considerable variation in the way geographers treat non-Western areas and materials, some introductory geography courses—variously called “world geography,” “regional geography,” “economic geography,” etc.—touch briefly on the non-Western parts of the world, as do surveys of European history. The latter generally deal cursorily with the rise of Russia, the expansion of Europe overseas, Marxism, imperialism and colonialism, the rise of nationalism in East Central Europe, and the events of the twentieth century, in which Russia and Asia play an important role. In economics, only one or two of the beginning principles-of-economics courses give more than a passing glance to noncapitalist or non-Westem economic systems. Occasionally, general courses in art and music present a smattering of Oriental art and music or of Orthodox Church music. As a rule, the introductory or basic courses in the other disciplines ignore non-Western areas.
* In most cases, these are one-semester courses given in alternate years and enroll primarily juniors and seniors, predominantly majors in the given discipline.
Almost every institution in Indiana offers at least a few advanced and specialized courses which treat non-Western developments more extensively than do the basic courses (see Table II-2). These, however, as well as those very few courses which deal specifically with a non-Western area, are all advanced courses taken by a relatively small number of junior and senior students, usually majors in the given discipline. Moreover, such courses are generally offered only in alternate years. As a result, only a small proportion of the student body is exposed to non-Western areas even in institutions which offer courses relating to these areas.
In history, courses in American diplomatic history, European diplomatic history, and Europe in the twentieth century (all generally for one semester) devote considerably more attention to the non-Western world than do the survey courses in the history of world civilization or of European civilization. Nevertheless, the main emphasis is upon Western Europe or the United States, and world problems are considered from the point of view of the United States or Western Europe.
Only eight institutions offer courses in comparative economic systems. These are all one-semester courses, and they generally follow a standard division, comparing the free enterprise, mixed, state capitalistic (Fascist), and Communist economic systems. Only three institutions (two of them major universities) offer courses which deal directly and in some detail with the economics of underdeveloped countries; and these courses seldom attract more than ten students.
In political science (sometimes called politics or government), several types of courses—comparative government, international relations, and political theory—deal in part with non-Western areas and materials. The comparative government courses generally devote approximately equal amounts of time to democratic, Fascist, and Communist types of government. These courses give little, if any, attention to Asian political institutions.
The courses on international relations or world politics customarily spend much time and effort on the principles of international relations, international organization, and international law. In dealing with current or recent developments, however, they naturally accord some attention to the role of Russia, Asia, and Africa.
Courses in social, political, or economic thought, which are located in different departments in different institutions, but which frequently cover a range of theory, usually treat Marxism-Leninism only briefly, and often with little expertness. Asian thought is seldom mentioned. Courses on the history of philosophy or on modern or contemporary philosophy occasionally refer to Oriental philosophy or to Marxism-Leninism. Seventeen institutions, mainly Protestant church-related schools, offer courses in comparative religions, which usually touch on Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Similarly, eight church-related colleges offer courses on the history or philosophy of foreign missions; these naturally deal to some extent with non-Western areas, particularly the Far East and Africa.
In sociology and cultural anthropology, several institutions offer courses, under various names, which examine race, population, or cross-cultural problems. These sometimes draw upon non-Western areas and experience, although they usually concentrate upon American problems.
Twenty institutions in Indiana offer one or more courses dealing specifically with a non-Western area or language. However, except for Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame, which have graduate programs in nonWestern areas, only five institutions—Ball State Teachers College, DePauw University, Earlham College, Purdue University, and Valparaiso University—offer more than three courses which deal mainly with a non-Western area or language. On the other hand, half a dozen or more institutions are actively considering adding at least one more course on a non-Western area within the next two years, and eight intend to add instruction in the Russian language. Of those foreign-area courses offered, only three or four are taught by men who have received special training on the area; the others are given by instructors who have not had specialized training, although they are often much interested, and have frequently done a remarkably effective job of educating themselves for teaching on the area.
The great bulk of the area courses are concerned with Russia or the Far East; only four courses deal with Africa and two with the Middle East. East Central Europe receives practically no attention, except at Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame, and in an incidental fashion in Russian history courses. The special courses devoted to non-Western areas are overwhelmingly in history (see Table II-3). Eight institutions offer Russian history every year, with an estimated three hundred students enrolled in these courses during 1957-58. Five colleges give Russian history in alternate years, generally for only a semester, with an average total enrollment of approximately eighty when the courses are offered. Thus, of the total Indiana undergraduate population of approximately 65,000, only about 1,360 students, or two per cent, study the history of Russia in any four-year period. In view of the importance of Russia in the lives of all of us, this is an alarming situation. One hopeful sign is that another college introduced Russian history in the fall of 1958, and four others hope to add such a course in the near future.
a In two institutions, these courses are two semesters in length; otherwise, they are one-semester courses.
b Another college added Russian history in the fall of 1958.
c These courses are noncredit courses in three institutions.
d In addition, two more colleges planned to introduce Russian language instruction in the fall of 1958.
Five institutions offer a course in Far Eastern history every year, with a total enrollment of about 180 students. Eleven colleges present Far Eastern history in alternate years; approximately 185 students are enrolled in these courses when they are offered. Consequently, over four years, only about 1,100 Indiana undergraduates, or under 2 per cent, study Far Eastern history. All but two of the courses in Far Eastern history are one semester in length. About half of them comprise a brief historical survey of China and Japan, usually with some incidental attention to India; the remainder concentrate upon the modern history and politics of China, Japan, and, to some extent, India. Two institutions are anxious to introduce Far Eastern history courses.
Indiana institutions offer only a few other courses which deal specifically with non-Western areas. There are two courses on Middle Eastern history and institutions (both customarily taught by natives of the area), five courses on the geography of Asia, four on Russian geography, and three on African geography. One college offers in alternate years either an introduction to Asia and the Soviet Union or an introduction to Africa, courses which touch on geography, history, politics, and culture.
Only one Indiana institution, Indiana University, has offered an undergraduate major or minor in a non-Western area, and it has wisely abandoned its undergraduate majors in both the Russian and the East Central European fields on the grounds that too intensive specialization on an area at the undergraduate level often detracts from the broad preparation in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences which should be the principal objective of a liberal arts education. Indeed, we found no interest in undergraduate area majors in any institution in the state. At the same time, and regrettably, no institution in Indiana—probably only a few in the entire country—requires its undergraduates to pass a course dealing specifically with a foreign area, except for foreign language courses, when they are required.
Twenty-five of the colleges surveyed require two years of a foreign language for the B. A. degree. This statistic is somewhat misleading, however, as an indicator of the number of Indiana undergraduates studying foreign languages, since the foreign language requirement applies only to those students in a liberal arts program. Those preparing for teaching, even in a B. A. program, are generally not required to study a foreign language, and those taking a pre-professional program or working toward a B. S. degree (education, business administration, etc.) also miss this opportunity to obtain insight into a foreign culture. Moreover, students in almost all institutions are allowed to count high-school foreign language study as one year of credit toward the foreign language requirement. Consequently, less than half the Indiana undergraduates do in fact study any modern foreign language.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that very little training in non-Western languages is offered in Indiana colleges and universities. Only eight of the thirty-four institutions in the state offer courses in the Russian language, and three of these institutions offer the course on a noncredit basis. Other non-Western languages are available to undergraduates only at Indiana University, which offers courses in Uralic, Turkic, Chinese, and a number of East Central European languages.
While it seems unlikely that the smaller colleges will be able to offer Asian, East Central European, or African languages in the near future, there is considerable interest in introducing the Russian language soon. Two colleges and three Indiana University extension centers began Russian language instruction in the fall of 1958, three other institutions hope to offer Russian by the fall of 1959, and five other institutions expressed a concrete interest in adding Russian in the near future. In most cases, the problem of obtaining teachers qualified to give Russian language courses is a serious one.
In assessing the possibilities for the expansion of Russian language instruction in the Indiana colleges, two factors deserve consideration. One is mounting student and faculty interest in Russian; the other, the belief of some administrators and instructors that Russian lacks the utility and the cultural significance of Western European languages. Several institutions reported definite expressions of student demand for Russian. These have sometimes taken the form of indirect requests channeled through modern-language teachers or faculty members interested in Russian affairs; in several cases, undergraduates have attempted to start informal faculty-student groups for noncredit study of Russian; in one instance, ten students submitted to their dean a formal petition for the introduction of a Russian language course. In colleges in which a significant number of undergraduates plan graduate study, this student interest will undoubtedly be an increasingly important factor in deciding whether to introduce Russian, particularly as more graduate schools recommend Russian as a second language for the doctoral degree.
Extracurricular Activity. At a number of institutions, extracurricular activities of various sorts constitute one of the most important and effective ways of exposing students to non-Western cultures. The most common approach is through the chapel meeting, lecture series, or assembly, at which speakers from the institution, outside lecturers, concerts, and films are presented. More than three-quarters of the Indiana colleges and universities have sponsored speakers on some aspect of world affairs within the last two years. A dozen of these institutions have arranged at least one meeting which dealt primarily with a non-Western society. In addition, eight institutions have offered film series containing one or more travelogues, documentaries, or commercial movies dealing with a non-Western area.
Sometimes such extracurricular activity is carefully coordinated with course work; this multiplies the impact and increases student interest. In some colleges, appropriate classes discuss and review the program. Occasionally, outside speakers meet with classes or hold informal faculty-student seminars or discussion groups.
The assembly type of extracurricular activity has the advantage of reaching a large majority of the student body. Moreover, lectures, concerts, and films frequently are open to the public and attract interested persons from the community. At the same time, they are incidental and passing events, a quick injection of information and interest, which, whatever the short-run benefits, may have little lasting influence. Few institutions enable a zealous student to build upon such an introduction to the non-Western world in his course work or in other extracurricular activity.
Another approach, but semicurricular in nature and with a longer and more intensive impact, is the presence for a year, a semester, or even a few weeks of a visiting professor or lecturer who is a specialist on a non-Western area. In addition to public lectures, such individuals may give special courses or seminars for students and faculty or may participate in established courses and seminars. Within the last few years, only a few Indiana institutions have benefited from this type of activity, probably because it is expensive and difficult to arrange. Several years ago Wabash was host to a visiting professor of Chinese philosophy and civilization. Indiana University annually receives visits of two weeks’ duration from several members of the American Universities Field Staff, highly trained specialists who engage in study and research abroad for considerable periods of time. These men return to the United States every eighteen months to visit the universities cooperating in the AUFS program, where they give lectures and participate in courses and seminars, drawing upon their knowledge and recent experience in the area of their special interest.
A related extracurricular technique is that of the special faculty or student group, assisted by outside participants. This sometimes takes the form of a faculty seminar meeting throughout the academic year on a particular curricular or substantive problem. In one especially effective case, two neighboring institutions developed a summer workshop for their faculty members. Such activities have been encouraged by the Lilly Foundation and by the Faculty Workshop program of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In the latter program, a faculty member, after a summer of intensive study of a particular problem, conducts a faculty seminar during the following academic year.
One institution sponsored a series of “economic dinners” over a six-week period, open to students, faculty, and interested members of the community. Under this program, which was successful in every way, a panel of four economists from other institutions lectured and led a discussion one night each week. Other schools have tried brief special institutes or seminars on particular problems, with excellent results.
The most common type of extracurricular activity undertaken on student initiative is that connected with international relations clubs or similar organizations. Such groups are active in a majority of the Indiana colleges. In most cases, the clubs sponsor student and faculty forums, panels, and social meetings. Outside speakers are occasionally invited, and special international programs, such as the convocation of a model UN Assembly for high school students from the surrounding area, are arranged. Inevitably, some students who belong to international relations clubs are interested, or become interested, in non-Western areas.
Most Indiana colleges have a small number of foreign students, many of them from the non-Western world, and the larger universities each have several hundred. These students reportedly have a greater impact upon the community than upon the student body itself. Foreign students are in considerable demand as speakers and guests at Rotary luncheons and club meetings, and many of them evidently represent their countries very effectively. Within the colleges, though, the foreign students appear to be taken somewhat for granted, and, with the exception of occasional close individual friendships with Americans or the sporadic arousing of student curiosity, they do not affect the outlook of the majority of undergraduates. At the same time, foreign students are often active in student groups and clubs, especially international relations clubs, and sometimes they organize cultural programs, dinners, international exhibits or fairs, and other special events at appropriate college ceremonies.
Ten Indiana institutions participate in radio-television programming in their communities. In most cases, several of the programs during the year relate to world affairs in some fashion, generally in the form of a panel discussion arranged by a class in the social sciences or by the international relations club, with both American and foreign students participating. These programs, which occasionally deal with the non-Western world, seem to meet with a favorable response, and there is probably considerable unexploited potential in this type of activity, both for arousing student interest in non-Western areas and for informing a segment of the public.
Teaching Materials and the Library. Teaching materials for instruction concerning non-Western areas are a major problem. Libraries and instructors need textbooks, written for the undergraduate, which put non-Western areas into greater prominence and better perspective, source materials and readings in inexpensive formats, and journals on nonWestern areas of a less scholarly and more popular nature than most current ones. Many instructors now rely upon current newspapers, periodicals, and pamphlets for illustrative and supplementary material, particularly concerning recent or contemporary developments. Few make adequate use of films and television as teaching aids.
Most libraries (excluding those in the large universities) have almost no non-Western language materials, very few books in Western foreign languages on the non-Western areas, and only a few periodicals which deal with these areas. Moreover, their holdings in English on non-Western areas are limited and uneven; coverage of areas and subjects is spotty; and the materials vary widely in quality. Most libraries subscribe to one or two journals on international politics and world affairs, such as Foreign Affairs and World Politics, and to one or two distinguished newspapers. Outside of the large university libraries, only a few possess such journals as the Far Eastern Survey and Problems of Communism; one or two carry the Middle East Journal and the English language magazine issued by the Soviet government, USSR; only three subscribe to the Current Digest of the Soviet Press, an invaluable teaching aid for undergraduate courses touching on recent and contemporary Soviet affairs. Only three or four libraries purchase scholarly journals, such as the American Slavic and East European Review, and the Journal of Asian Studies.
The principal achievements with regard to education concerning the non-Western areas are, by nature, difficult to define because they reside in the spirit of education and in the atmosphere of the campus. Fundamentally, during the last decade or two, the horizons of Indiana colleges and of their students have stretched. While much remains to be done, given the magnitude of the problem and the conservative character of educational institutions, considerable progress has been made in adding new courses, in introducing new languages and techniques of language instruction, in injecting into the curricula and into the climate of education a new approach toward the rest of the world, in utilizing extracurricular methods effectively, and in absorbing into the college community men and women from other parts of the world.
Some institutions have inevitably progressed more than others. The two largest universities with a liberal arts foundation, Indiana and Notre Dame, have developed impressive graduate programs on non-Western areas. However, undergraduate instruction in both of these institutions has, thus far, been remarkably little affected by these additions, and these universities must erect a bridge from their graduate programs and research to the undergraduate student body. Purdue University in the last decade has expanded foreign language instruction and has enlarged the impact of the social sciences and humanities upon its technical studies. A number of the smaller institutions have become much concerned with the problem of exposing the undergraduate to the non-Western world and are developing promising new approaches to this problem. Earlham College, for example, is in the process of working out with Antioch College a cooperative arrangement for a basic course on the Far East as a means of acquainting its students with at least one major non-Western area. This basic course will, it is hoped, be included among those courses meeting the distribution requirement in the social sciences so that it may become a part of the educational experience of a substantial number of Earlham undergraduates. In addition, each college will offer one advanced course to permit interested students to learn about the area in somewhat greater depth.
Most Indiana administrators and instructors agree that undergraduates need to know more concerning non-Western civilizations. Sixteen, or approximately half, of the Indiana colleges have demonstrated sufficient interest in improving their curricula regarding the non-Western areas to seek to add instructors and courses. Nine colleges have a mild though definite interest, but will obviously need outside encouragement. Seven are interested but passive, and leaders in but two institutions doubt that the study of non-Western areas is important or that they should increase their efforts in this regard.
Present interest in non-Western areas on the part of Indiana colleges and universities is focused on the Far East and Russia, with little in South Asia and the Middle East, and almost none concerning Southeast Asia, Africa, and East Central Europe, except as the latter is considered a part of the Soviet orbit. Moreover, interest in Russia is increasing at a more rapid rate than that in other areas, undoubtedly because of the events of the last year or two, particularly the launching of the Soviet satellites. More institutions are planning the addition of Russian language instruction and Russian history courses than are planning courses in other area fields.
In those institutions with clear interests or considerable achievements in instruction concerning non-Western areas, one or two members of the faculty or administration are usually responsible. Such men are generally leaders within their institutions, and they clearly represent one of the most important resources for improving undergraduate instruction on the non-Western world. They are more significant than funds, materials, or special programs. They provide the indispensable initiative and leadership; they need only assistance and support.
Most colleges have been distressingly slow in bringing the fruits of modern technology into the educational process. Many are working with nineteenth-century practices and equipment, and few make effective use of new methods and techniques, from audio-visual materials and devices to television. The new generation of teachers is generally not being trained to use modern aids in the classroom. Only three institutions in the state have modern-language laboratories, and only two others have even makeshift or experimental laboratories. Indiana libraries often ignore large parts of the world, and the undergraduate in many Indiana institutions would not be able to find one readable and informative book on some areas of the world, if he were interested.
Moreover, the various institutions in the state have not fully utilized available opportunities for a cooperative attack on the new problems which face them. Faculty members competent on non-Western areas or languages might be shared by neighboring institutions; other cooperative arrangements also seem to promise mutual benefits. Yet joint appointments seldom exist, even when institutions are only a few blocks or miles apart. Only rarely are visiting lecturers shared, and an experience in one institution is infrequently passed on to another.
In general, Indiana colleges and universities, as all institutions of higher learning in America, have been scrambling desperately, but often unsuccessfully, to have the education and inspiration they impart somehow reflect the changes which affect the world in this most revolutionary of ages. Most administrators recognize the problems; most realize that education must preserve the best, teach about our own society, and create a synthesis of the past and the present, of the old and the new. Few, however, have acted with the deliberate speed necessary to prepare our students for life in the second half of the twentieth century. So far as nonWestern areas are concerned, this is especially true of the technical and professional schools or curricula in all the Indiana institutions. In other words, most institutions must make an immense organized effort to meet this revolutionary challenge, or provide an education unworthy of their students and the times.
What Can Be Done. Such is the situation in undergraduate education in Indiana. To those who are concerned over how well our youth are being prepared for responsible citizenship in the world of 1980—a world in which Russia, China, and all of Asia and Africa will be playing prominent roles, with their actions daily affecting the vital interests of the United States—the picture is a disturbing one. It is clear that the average Indiana undergraduate today receives an education so highly oriented toward Western civilization that he emerges from college with little understanding of or interest in world affairs or other cultures. The boundaries of his knowledge and interest resemble those which Santayana defined as “respectability and Christendom.” We believe that this is the case in other states as well: Indiana curricula are not notably different, Indiana instructors come from every state in the Union, the textbooks and other materials used are also used in other states, and the Indiana record on foreign language instruction, while below the national average, is not an unusual one.
If this situation is to be changed, what are the major problems to be overcome and what lines of action can be followed? Fundamental is the need to recast and reorient our whole educational effort, from kindergarten to Ph. D. In this spectrum, the undergraduate years are vital. Alumni, administrators, and faculty of American colleges must recognize that traditional educational requirements fall short of meeting the needs of the twentieth-century world, that knowledge of Western culture alone will not suffice for the citizen of tomorrow, and that liberal education must be universal in outlook, drawing on the values, experience and aspirations of all peoples and cultures. It is not farfetched to imagine the day when the study of non-Western societies will be regarded not as something unusual and exotic, requiring special interests and extraordinary resources, but as part of the normal activity of the social science and humanities departments of every college and university in the country. The time may also come when some knowledge of non-Western peoples and civilizations will be accepted as part of the customary intellectual baggage which should accompany every American undergraduate as he leaves the campus.
Such a broad rethinking of our educational emphases is, of course, a difficult task. It will not be accomplished overnight. Moreover, as all involved in education understand, the nature of man, of academic man in particular, assumes as much significance in this problem as the subject and the material. Educational systems are among the most conservative structures in existence. This report was, therefore, prepared and written in the same combination of hope and despair which led one college president to compare changing the curriculum to moving a cemetery.
There are good grounds for optimism, however. The objectives of an educational system mirror the values of the society of which it is a part. Today, Americans as a whole are more “world-minded” than they have ever been; the events of the last two decades have forced upon our consciousness the existence and importance of the nonWestern world. Moreover, and most encouragingly, the attitudes and climate within educational institutions are changing rapidly. Students are eager to learn about areas and peoples which they sense will some day significantly affect their own interests. Faculty are inquisitive and are reaching out for new data and new ideas by which to test old assumptions based almost solely on Western experience. Most administrators are aware of the immense new challenges which have arisen at the very moment when practical issues of the most compelling kind face every educational institution. As President Robert F. Goheen, of Princeton University, pointed out in his annual report for 1958, American universities and colleges, after “some two and a half centuries of academic proccupation with the Western world—to the neglect of the Orient, when not to its exclusion,” must now learn “to educate our citizenry effectively as regards the non-European world, with all of its vast requirements and the telling influence it is likely to have in the future course of this century.”
All our colleges live in a different climate from that of twenty years ago. Television, radio, newspapers, and magazines provide information and an atmosphere concerning the rest of the world completely unlike that of a generation ago, and institutions whose faculty members were distributed throughout the world by war and cold war have gradually changed character and outlook. This is reflected in the vigor and vitality of the interest expressed in non-Western areas and the eagerness with which individuals and groups actively seek to improve the quality of instruction in this regard. These factors are difficult to define and to measure, but they constitute the liveliest hope for the future.
But a change of attitude and outlook is not enough. A growing number of educators recognize the importance of acquainting undergraduates with the non-Western areas, but many of them believe that this objective has to be neglected, or at best given a low priority, until students know better their own history and culture. They are concerned that there is simply not enough time in four crowded undergraduate years to inform a student adequately concerning both the Western and non-Western worlds. Moreover, others, deeply interested in instruction regarding non-Westem areas, are hampered by practical problems, particularly those of course and curriculum reorganization and those connected with finding and paying for additional faculty and library materials.
The remaining pages of this paper are therefore devoted to a discussion of various practical measures that may be taken to increase the attention devoted to non-Western cultures in an undergraduate institution. These suggestions are based on the ideas of the Indiana presidents, deans, and faculty interviewed and on the discussion of this problem at the conference held at Indiana University in September, 1958. In most cases, the steps outlined here involve little, if any, reduction or dilution of education concerning the Western world, which has been the colleges’ chief concern. These suggestions certainly do not exhaust the possibilities for action, but are those considered most useful and immediately feasible for most colleges. Moreover, they are, in most instances, procedures which can be adopted at once and at little cost. Clearly, not all these courses of action are applicable to every institution; each college will want to select those most suited to its needs.
In the first place, even with the best of intentions, it is difficult for administrators and faculty concerned with this problem to undertake to resolve it entirely on their own. Often, they are not informed concerning the experience of other institutions, from which they might profit. They do not know where to turn for guidance concerning puzzling questions connected with the curriculum and with the acquisition of books and teachers. Under these circumstances, it is clear that many educators would welcome and be helped by advice and assistance from area specialists and from other college teachers and administrators concerned with undergraduate education relating to non-Western areas. This assistance might come from a graduate area center or from groups of area specialists. For example, the survey revealed that Indiana colleges would welcome guidance and aid concerning instruction in non-Western areas from Indiana University or from an organization of specialists established for this purpose. Indeed, state or regional centers for each non-Western area could provide most useful guidance for those seeking to improve undergraduate education.
Over the next few years, the area specialists will undoubtedly develop specific mechanisms for the purpose of assisting and advising colleges interested in this question. In the field of Asian studies, the Asia Society, with headquarters in New York, already performs such functions, making available information on undergraduate programs of Asian studies, distributing lists of appropriate books and films, organizing traveling cultural and art exhibits, and helping to arrange consulting services on the problems involved in introducing Asian studies. In the interim, any college which wishes to secure help and guidance for improving the position of non-Western studies in its curriculum will find a sympathetic response from area centers in neighboring universities.
Plans will also undoubtedly be devised to permit teachers and administrators interested in instruction concerning nonWestern areas to meet with area specialists on a regional basis every few years. Such conferences could either concentrate on the problems and opportunities involved in courses on non-Western areas or might deal with substantive issues concerning given areas. These conferences would stimulate college teachers, educate specialists concerning the needs and the achievements of undergraduate instruction, and in general bridge the gap which separates the university and the college, the specialist and the teacher. Indeed, high school teachers should also participate in these conferences, because the educational process is a continuum, and no one part can be repaired if all parts are not in good order and close cooperation.
The most urgent problem is to determine how to expose all, or practically all, undergraduates to the non-Western world in some form. When the question of enlarging the role of non-Western studies is raised, some educators think immediately of the addition of specialized courses on the history, government, economy, or literature of given areas. In fact, such advanced courses in particular disciplines, while representing an important complementary approach to the problem, are usually elected by only a few junior and senior students and consequently reach only a small proportion of the student body.
An essential step therefore is to increase the attention devoted to non-Western areas in basic general courses in the social sciences and humanities, which are required of a large number of students at the freshman and sophomore level. These are sometimes called “general education” courses and usually bear disciplinary designations, such as world history, introductory geography, world literature, or principles of economics. This increase in attention may be achieved by some reorganization of course content or by the introduction of comparative and illustrative material from non-Western areas. Recasting such basic courses can be encouraged by providing a faculty member with free time, perhaps with outside financial support, to revise a given course, to develop a new syllabus and readings, and to prepare necessary new materials pertaining to non-Western areas.
An alternative approach is the development of an interdepartmental introductory or civilization course on a nonWestern culture, such as the one on the Far East being planned at Earlham and Antioch, to match the traditional course devoted to a survey of European history or Western civilization. It is essential that such a course occupy a position in the curriculum or the college requirements that will ensure enrollment of a majority of the freshman or sophomore students. The planning and introduction of this type of course inevitably involve substantial problems relating to personnel, materials, departmental organization, and finances, but, here again, advice and assistance from those with experience in these matters would be most helpful.
Steps to increase the non-Western content of undergraduate education can also be taken at the upper division or junior and senior level. More non-Western materials can be introduced into existing comparative courses, such as, comparative government, comparative economic systems, international relations, and comparative religion, or such courses can be initiated. Finally, some institutions may find it possible to introduce special disciplinary courses devoted to parts of the non-Western world, such as the geography of Asia, Russian history, or Soviet economic development.
It seems unlikely that the average college will be able to offer instruction in the languages of Asia and Africa in the immediate future. Opportunities for interested undergraduates to study these languages will undoubtedly be made available through summer programs at major university area and language centers, particularly with the assistance provided under Title VI of the National Defense Education Act of 1958, which is specifically designed to promote American knowledge of the “unusual” languages.
However, a number of colleges should be in a position to offer Russian language instruction in the course of the next decade. Russian is easier to teach and to learn than most Asian and African languages, and it is rapidly rivaling German and French in importance as a language of science. Knowledge of Russian permits direct access to the great literary and cultural heritage of Russian civilization and also has utilitarian value for the growing number of Americans who have contact with the Soviet world—government officials, scholars, journalists, artists, students, and ordinary tourists. Many graduate schools now accept Russian as one of the languages meeting requirements for a doctoral degree, and some science departments strongly recommend Russian for graduate work. In the teaching of Russian, modern methods of language instruction should be employed, and a minimum of two years of course work should be offered. Students should be encouraged to begin the study of Russian and other European languages as early as possible in their educational careers.
Adding interested and qualified teachers is a major hurdle in the development of non-Western studies in undergraduate education. However, the expected mushrooming of student enrollment should provide a unique opportunity for the addition of area-trained teachers to college staffs. In the normal replacement and expansion of faculty, colleges will be able to appoint good teachers with a double competence: sound training in a discipline combined with area specialization or, in the case of language teachers, German or French, as well as Russian. Such individuals can carry their share of teaching in the basic disciplinary courses or in the customary languages, while at the same time broadening and enriching the curriculum through their knowledge of a particular non-Western area or language. It is admittedly difficult at present for the college administrator to identify and attract teachers with this sort of dual capability. Once again, however, an organization providing guidance and help concerning instruction on the non-Western areas, or the area centers themselves, could be of assistance.
At the same time, the universities must to some degree recast graduate education. In many cases, graduate schools are still producing students oriented almost exclusively toward Western institutions and culture, or specialists so highly trained on non-Western areas that they cannot teach a basic disciplinary course effectively. A heavy share of the responsibility for encouraging greater attention to non-Western areas in undergraduate education lies with the graduate schools and their respective discipline departments, which must provide a different kind of product, particularly men and women with strong training in their discipline and sound knowledge concerning at least one non-Western area.
The major universities and their specialists can contribute substantially to progress in undergraduate education in still another way: by recognizing the shortage of teaching materials and by changing their values for prestige and promotion. Thus, senior scholars should be encouraged to write textbooks for basic general courses in the disciplines which devote increased attention to the non-Western world and to prepare and publish texts and other teaching materials on individual areas. This would be of enormous assistance to the undergraduate teacher, handicapped now by the shortage or absence of such materials.
In meeting the need for teachers prepared to instruct concerning non-Western areas in the colleges, existing faculty resources, as well as new appointments, can be utilized. A number of undergraduate institutions have teachers keenly interested in presenting courses dealing with non-Western areas or languages. A fellowship program to enable such teachers to obtain additional training on the area or its languages at a major university center, for a period ranging from one or two summers to fifteen months, would constitute an important step in expanding faculty resources on the non-Western areas. At the center, the instructor would audit and observe courses, collect reading lists, attend seminars, discuss instructional problems with specialists and other teachers, and obtain knowledge and stimulation for his own teaching. Such a program would be easy to arrange for a summer, and members of several departments at Indiana University are already planning summer school programs especially designed for this purpose and for “refreshing” instructors who received training and experience in non-Western areas some years ago. In 1958-59, the Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard University inaugurated a fellowship program under which liberal arts colleges and the Center cooperate in providing a year’s study at Harvard to teachers of undergraduate courses interested in improving instruction concerning the East Asian area in their institutions.
While arrangements to release a teacher for additional training in a non-Western area have to be worked out carefully between the college and the sponsoring center, there are no insurmountable obstacles. Many institutions are willing to share the expenses involved, although in most cases fellowship aid would probably also be required. In some instances, faculty members might take advantage of sabbatical and other established leave arrangements. In the Indiana colleges alone, a half a dozen or more able and interested candidates for such a program were found, surely a fine sign for the future. As noted previously, another group of teachers could effectively use leave, probably on their own campuses, to revise their basic courses and to add new materials concerning non-Western areas to established general courses. Faculty travel and faculty exchanges, sometimes privately sponsored, sometimes under government auspices, represent still another significant avenue for extending teaching resources on the non-Western areas.
Finally, cooperative arrangements among neighboring institutions are an important way to multiply the offerings and capabilities of colleges interested in non-Western studies. Such arrangements hold particular promise in the language field. In cases where two institutions are very close, students of one might take classes at the other college, or faculty might be shared. Another possibility to be fully explored is beaming TV courses on non-Western areas from one institution to a number of institutions, a program which Indiana University launched with several colleges in the spring of 1959 with a course on modern Russian history. Cooperation among faculty members and in courses of the kind being contemplated by Earlham and Antioch should be considered. Moreover, in expanding their work on non-Western areas, colleges should always endeavor to complement rather than duplicate the resources of neighboring institutions. Cooperative efforts of all kinds can, of course, embrace library materials, as well as courses and faculty.
The realm of extracurricular and semicurricular activity offers a wide range of possibilities. Special efforts can ensure increased attention to the non-Western world in chapel and assembly programs, in lecture and film series, in panels and forums, in debates, in the work of international relations clubs and similar groups, in exhibits and festivals, and in radio-TV programming sponsored by the college. A number of opportunities exist for enlisting the interest and cooperation of groups in the community. In addition, assistance and advice can often be obtained from such national organizations in the foreign affairs field as the Foreign Policy Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and regional Councils on World Affairs. The role of the foreign student in the college community can be made more meaningful. Student travel and exchanges have always represented an excellent method of interesting and informing undergraduates concerning the non-Western world.
Finally, there is great potential in the development, through cooperation between the colleges and the area centers, of a system of visiting seminars or workshops, bringing individual specialists or groups of area specialists to a campus for intensive discussion of an area with both faculty and students. These specialists might be distinguished scholars; they might also be lively young students, still in graduate school or just beginning their careers, who have completed a period of study in their area of special concern and who can bring the particular insights of young men and women to undergraduate student bodies. Such a program might consist of six or eight weekly meetings or a continuous three-day session; it would involve community participation, visits to appropriate classes, meetings with interested groups, and seminars or discussions with faculty members. While the effect of such brief “institutes” might not be lasting, the immediate impact on both the college and the community would undoubtedly be significant, and the long-range result would almost certainly be much increased faculty and student effort and interest concerning the study of non-Western areas.
As noted earlier in the report, there is an urgent need for textbooks and other materials for the undergraduate which give sufficient attention to the non-Western world, a need which can be adequately met only if the academic profession and university administrators begin to recognize the importance of, and give due credit for, the preparation of such materials by competent scholars in the various area fields. At the same time, publishers can do much to assist by encouraging and supporting the writing of textbooks and the compiling of source books which contain substantial material on the non-Western world.
In the library field, a most important and immediately useful step would be the preparation of a critical bibliography on the non-Western areas, providing the kind of information an instructor or librarian needs to help him identify the significant books. An area specialist, or a committee of area specialists, in whose judgment the colleges would have confidence, might select and evaluate lists of books and periodicals on non-Western areas. Two types of lists are needed: one, issued once but revised periodically, would describe a basic collection for each area; the other, issued annually, would analyze the most important works on each area published within the preceding year. The former list would permit a library to check its present holdings and to begin an acquisition program designed to obtain the most fundamental and useful books on the nonWestern areas. The latter would assist a library in continuing to build a first-rate small collection and in wisely expending its monies for current acquisitions.
Finally, the potential of various audio-visual and other technical aids remains to be fully exploited. Instruction concerning the non-Western areas would benefit greatly from improved materials of this sort and from a greater realization on the part of teachers of the utility and value of such teaching aids.
In conclusion, we should like to emphasize our conviction, buttressed by achievements in a number of institutions, that very considerable progress in instruction concerning the non-Western areas can be made by any college at little cost. Because the problem is such an important and seemingly formidable one, some college educators may assume that its resolution is beyond their reach. In fact, however, any college can make a start, drawing upon the suggestions advanced in this paper and on others which are bound to occur to alert faculty and administrators. A major change, even a revolution, in an institution’s approach to this problem can be attained in a number of ways, many of which involve little expense or dislocation. With interest and determination, American students can be made aware of the problems and potentialities of the non-Western world and be prepared to live in the age which lies ahead.
APPENDIX: THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES OF INDIANA
Anderson College (Church of God)
Ball State Teachers College
Butler University (Disciples of Christ association)
Concordia Senior College (Lutheran—Missouri Synod)
DePauw University (Methodist association)
Earlham College (Society of Friends)
Evansville College (Methodist association)
Franklin College (Baptist)
Goshen College (Mennonite)
Grace Theological Seminary and College (Grace Brethren)
Hanover College (Presbyterian association)
Huntington College (Church of United Brethren)
Indiana Central College (Evangelical United Brethren)
Indiana State Teachers College
Indiana Technical College
Indiana University Extension Centers
Evansville (with Evansville College)
Richmond (with Earlham College)
Vincennes (with Vincennes University)
Manchester College (Church of Brethren)
Marian College (Catholic)
Marion College (Wesleyan Methodist)
Oakland City College (Baptist)
Purdue University Extension Centers
Rose Polytechnic Institute
St. Francis College (Catholic)
St. Joseph’s College (Catholic)
St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (Catholic)
St. Mary’s College (Catholic)
St. Meinrad’s Seminary (Catholic)
Taylor University (Methodist association)
University of Notre Dame (Catholic)
Valparaiso University (Lutheran)
Vincennes University (junior college)
West Baden College (Catholic)
1. This paper is based on a pilot study of the attention devoted to non-Westem areas in undergraduate education in the state of Indiana and on the discussion at a conference on this subject held at Indiana University, September 18-20, 1958. The papers presented at this conference have been published in Robert F. Byrnes, ed., The Non-Western Areas in Undergraduate Education in Indiana (Bloomington: Indiana University Publications, Slavic and East European Series, Vol. XV, 1959).
In this article, “non-Westem” does not have cultural connotations but simply designates those areas of the world whose study has been largely neglected in the traditional curricula of American education, i.e., all the areas of the world except that part of Europe not under Communist rule, and the Western hemisphere.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mr. Robert Feldman and Mr. Matthew Downey in the preparation of this report. They also wish to express their appreciation to the presidents, deans, and faculty members of the Indiana colleges and universities for their friendly cooperation and enthusiastic interest in this study.
2. These statistics were compiled by Professor Joseph D. Coppock, of Earlham College, for a discussion paper presented to the conference at Indiana University in September, 1958.