In "The Future of Learning" the October
29 Newsweek asked 11 teachers, inventors, and entrepreneurs "what
schools will be like in the year 2025-and how learning will change."
Willen Meier, AM'55, author of The Power of Their
Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem (Beacon,
1995) urged schools to prepare students for the 21st century by
re-embracing a 19th-century emphasis on
producing good citizens: "We should be developing habits
of mind and the kind of thoughtful interpersonal relationships
needed to direct technology rather than seeing technological competence
as an end it itself. It's the habits of mind that are critical.
a public intellectual have an academic home? Discussing "The
Public Intellectual and the American University" in the Autumn
2001 American Scholar was Anthony
T. Grafton, AB'71, AM'72, PhD'75, a Princeton history
professor and author of The Footnote: A Curious History
(Harvard, 1997). Grafton focused on an academic footnote of sorts:
a young Harvard-trained scholar of English literature who joined
the fledgling University of Chicago in 1893. Robert Morss Lovett
became a renowned teacher-and an activist. By the end of WW I
he and his wife had moved from Hyde Park into Jane Addams's Hull-House
settlement, "where Lovett worked the switchboard two nights
a week and taught English classes for immigrants." Spending
half the year off campus, first as editor of the Dial and
later of the New Republic, Lovett was active in pacifist
and pro-labor groups-often to the outrage of U of C colleagues
and donors. But the University stood behind him. Grafton's moral:
"The intellectual, in Lovett's day, did not have to withdraw
from the great community in order to teach in the little one."
In the online magazine Slate and an October 10 segment of NPR's
Morning Edition, Jacob Weisberg, Slate's chief political
correspondent, discussed the man he calls President George W.
Bush's "favorite Afghan": Zalmay
Khalilzad, PhD'79. Born and raised in Afghanistan,
Khalilzad has held many U.S. government posts, including a 1985-89
stint in the State Department, advising on the Iran-Iraq war and
the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Since May he has been special assistant
to the President and the National Security Council's senior director
for Persian Gulf, Southwest Asian, and other regional issues.
"Judging from things he has written in the past," Weisberg
noted, "this little-known defense intellectual is playing
a central role in the administration's emerging strategy for combating
Islamic terrorism." Weisberg directed readers to an article
by Khalilzad and Daniel Byerly in the Winter 2000 Washington
Quarterly. "Afghanistan: Consolidation of a Rogue State"
outlined six steps to weaken the Taliban, including supporting
the Northern Alliance and cultivating the Pashtun, pressuring
Pakistan to withdraw its support, and aiding the Taliban's victims.
Analyzing "The Fundamentalist Factor" in the November
Lingua Franca, R.
Scott Appleby, AM'79, PhD'85, director of the Joan
B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University
of Notre Dame, discussed why Islam has produced "so many
viable fundamentalist movements" but concluded that "[e]xtremist
Islam will fail. Its hope for conformity is doomed by the internal
pluralism of the Islamic tradition and by the inability of extremists
who reject cooperation with outsiders to meliorate the economic
and social inequalities that haunt most Muslims."