Education Must Respond
Can there be what William James once called a “moral equivalent of war”? Can we have in times of peace the same spirit of cooperation and sacrifice, the same deep recognition of individual obligation to the common weal, that a great national struggle so quickly develops?
This question now presses for an answer, and it is education that must respond. It is not too early to make a beginning. Peace does not mean that the battle for democracy has been permanently won. It does not mean that the responsibilities that our country has assumed for the cause of democracy can be laid down, or that we can return to the self-sufficiency of an earlier day. Problems that involve the welfare of others as well as ourselves must be faced and solved by the American people. It is not too soon to impress upon the children now in school the fact that to meet these responsibilities in harmony with the ideals for which our soldiers have fought requires from them the keenest and clearest thinking of which they can make themselves capable.
If education was at any time merely a privilege, that time has passed in our country. If to strive for knowledge and insight can ever be a duty, it is a duty today.
--National School Service