tv Book Discussion on The Founders and the Idea of a National University CSPAN September 11, 2016 1:45am-2:06am EDT
cover. >> national university was an idea put forward by a member of the leading founders washington madison franklin jefferson and the idea was of what we take for granted in our day that was in the upper process of being built they turned education as the central way to try to foster the political culture and ideas and education they thought was necessary to sustain. >>host: what would it look like or teach? >> what is unique about the atf of a national university at that time is that sometimes you have to go back to centuries what did
they look like and buy a large secular institution but that is not what they look like parochial and sectarian institutions with an organizing basis of the curriculum so with that backdrop there was the idea with the educational institutions in the republican form of government that we created even prior to the constitutional convention and that they are remnants of apolitical order and that national university was one idea as a way to alter education.
>> don't we have several national universities? >> we do in large for. in fact, in the research and started to count the number of times when people heard about the project ast don't we already? like yale or columbia and these days they are national in reach and they share some aspects of what a national university would do and how they reorganize their knowledge of the curriculum particularly the ninth century was falling in the footsteps of performing institutions and curriculum along those lines.
and when the idea was still floating, the president of harvard was an opponent was worried it may be emerging place for the educational hierarchy but there is one facet that is not clearly front and center of how do they speak to civic understanding? what the educational institution with that political verse civic leadership of form setter central to their mission? and we think about what forms of civic knowledge maybe central that we are in short supply. >> two others have national
university? like canada? >> i think other countries is interesting. australia and ireland and they do speak to specifically the educational needs with the idea to support national hour political institutions but they don't always work in that fashion but one idea was floated fairly recently with the european university institute that was initially put forward across europe as necessary to supplement that identity but they don't work
quite in conjunction and there is something good about that with the national university will have problems. and they were quite self-conscious with the idea you would want to maintain independence in any way. so there has spent a healthy distance from the fact we have educational institutions in a pluralistic fashion. >> what did george washington say? >> but the idea of national greatness. at the time it was a deeply important revolution and the
new world that they try to go about but most europeans in particular don't have the cultural or institutional education that partly motivated washington but that puts it in the farewell address and was also deeply aware that we need to cultivate a certain type of knowledge that they self consciously thought about this knowledge to carry forward the idea is so that was of way to speak to the nation to carry forward. looking back we perceive a
success but yet that is the founding generation was vividly aware that reforming government and certainly they were aware that washington thought as a way to nurture and sustain what they helped create. >>host: house sectarian? >> mixed. but when we looked back at curriculum it seems they were in the business and that theology centered around curriculum and knowledge. at the same time, people were not going into a the clergy.
with the founding generation itself. so they are in a process of rethinking how they treat theology and it ranges because you have arguments of the relationship between church and state but at the time public institutions are private now above funded by the public purse and educating the public. it was a prior order where church and state were separated that the founding generation had to wrestle with. with harvard and the nature of the institution and arguing within the
institutions but with others continue favoring that commitment of the articles of faith that professors take on the clergy. the are remnants of those commitments are well into the 19th century. >> how close to the country come? >> the truth is probably not very. there were a number of polls during the concept coming up after the constitutional convention. mattison says anita a national institution of education filleted of sectarian commitment washington calls on congress
to say we support an amendment for literature. and much broader than politics. the knowledge that is important and there is very serious debate of the 1800's . at one point with the approval of funding it doesn't look like it will really happen. but it comes up multiple locations in our history with debates of the founding which was a request from an
englishman and wanted to establish an educational institution and there are debates in congress but then partly it is founded because it is not like a national university that comes up again you can imagine not with the sectarian conflict but what would help to unify. we have discussions and advocates but it doesn't ever really come close. >>host: what is your personal feeling? >> the way that i look at it , it is incredibly interesting idea and you can see why those of the late 18th century or 19th century were captivated.
we didn't reform educational institutions they were mismatched with the republican or democratic experiment or boost theology and the public sphere. and to understand i am not sad it did not develop and the day is long gone. i don't figure would be supported now but it reminds us of two things that we forget, that when we think of a public leadership, that doesn't come out of nowhere but that needs to be nurtured that democratic institutions depend on and
when we think of the ideas that our necessary to carry forward a democratic experiment to cultivate those that don't think they just happen on of nowhere and then we do have much less self-conscious lee then we could and then it is interesting to remind us that political institutions set in motion don't run themselves. . .