President MacCracken, with his retirement a few months away, reflected on knowledge and education in the last of a series of Sunday morning lectures at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Distinguishing between general knowledge and personal knowledge, he favored the latter.  “General knowledge,” he said, “is what the student shares with others, the abstract, repeatable, countable, classified knowledge.  The other kind of knowledge would be personal, unrepeatable, unclassifiable—himself, his growth, his development, his thoughts, feelings and behavior—in short his whole personality.”

MacCracken, however, saw the encouragement of this inner knowledge imperiled in the modern college.  “A strange new faculty,” he said, “has arisen in every college, called the administration for want of a better name, which, with its deans, advisers, doctors and psychiatrists, has developed to the point of doing all a student’s thinking.  The student consequently never gets a chance to put himself together while an administration tries to do something which is the teacher’s job.  A teacher at best can only guide and point things out, for only the student can face the facts unique to his personality and go forward in that knowledge.”     The New York Times