Guida a Lukacs by George Lichtheim

By George Lichtheim

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C. campuses in the 1960s, each distinctive in academic emphases, organization, and physical design. The idea was not to replicate Berkeley or UCLA but to develop new university options for the people of California. And the fiscal reasons are clear: prospects for state support are such that we cannot afford to offer the complete array of disciplines and subdisciplines, graduate and undergraduate courses, at every campus. There will be greater decentralization of authority from the Office of the President to the campuses.

But the loudest outcry was reserved for a social science curriculum called Man: A Course of Study [MACOS]. MACOS was developed under the intellectual leadership of Jerome Bruner, who was at Harvard at that time. MACOS focused on cultural diversity, principally from an anthropological viewpoint, and was aimed at students in grades seven, eight, and nine. One of the films produced for the course told the story of an Eskimo village above the Arctic Circle. Among the Eskimo practices depicted in the film was the custom of borrowing someone else’s wife to keep you warm on a long journey across the ice if your own wife was not well enough to accompany you.

NSF started in physics, with a curriculum developed by Jerrold Zacharias of MIT, and a mathematics curriculum quickly followed. C. Berkeley played an important role in developing the chemistry curriculum. One can criticize these programs. They were too difficult for the average student—too focused on the best students—but the simple fact is that if you go anywhere in the world today, you will find that these programs are still in use and are regarded as outstanding curricula. The curriculum projects went so well that NSF decided to be even bolder.

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