Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

M. D. Kurimay


Education is a topic of frightening complexity and the single term labels a manifold reality whose extension is nearly as wide as that of life itself. Modern education in the twentieth century, for that matter, is all the more complex because of the ever changing needs of the people on the one hand, and the increasing life span on the other. Every nation, race and culture has witnessed quite many educational changes over the centuries that have given rise to new socio-political and economic life of the people and the United States is no exception to this. "The most profound educational change of this century is a change of attitude which no longer regards education as essentially preparatory but as a way of meeting the demands and aspirations of the present period of one's life" (Havighurst, 1978). This means that education has uses in every stage of the life cycle, not merely during childhood and adolescence. Every stage of the life cycle in modern society requires people to learn new things if they are to live up to their own aspirations and the expectations that others have of them. That is why there is so much emphasis now on educating the mind as an instrument of learning rather

than a storehouse of knowledge. That is why so many of the new methods in the schools concentrate on self-initiated learning methods or inquiry, use of library, etc. If the school can educate the child for self-initiated learning, the child will go on learning as an adult. Unfortunately this was not the case forty or fifty years ago. The educational system in the middle of the twentieth century did not keep pace with the external changes. "During the twentieth century, human life has been more dramatically transformed than at any other period in history. In less than 100 years, Americans have moved from horse-drawn carriages to the automobile, the airplane, and the space shuttle; from kerosene lamps and gaslights to electric lights and laser technology. We have gone from writing our everyday communications by hand, to using typewriters, then personal computers, then to sending fax transmissions through telephone wires. The changes in our personal lives may seem less obvious, but they are just as astonishing. One of the most unexpected is the change in the length of time we live, and in the character of "old age." The new older Americans are the first generation in history to live in large numbers to their 70's, B0's, and 90's -- ages unattainable for the

great majority of our ancestors. Most importantly, the majority of these new older people are in good health. It is a truly unprecedented development. It is also a trend which appears likely to continue; average life expectancies are still rising, and although they rise unevenly -- sometimes rapidly and sometimes more slowly -- there is no sign at present that they are likely to stop. Some demographers predict that the average life expectancy at birth in the United States could reach 100 by the middle of the next century -- perhaps even sooner, depending on as-yet undiscovered scientific advances. In 1900, Americans thought that adulthood started at about age 20 and extended roughly to age 50, an active adult life of only about 30 years. Now, with life expectancies in the mid to late 70's and still climbing, the ordinary active adult life reaches from age 20, to 75 or 80 approximately twice as long" (Long, 1983).