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Chicago area college teachers discuss recent grievances

BROADCAST: 1969 | DURATION: 00:52:15


Discussing the role of the teacher and the Chicago Junior College teachers' grievances with Dr. Mary Mainwaring, Gordon Murray, Dr. Peter Senn and Dr. Morris Springer.


Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.


Studs Terkel What is a teacher? This is the question always comes up about-- What should a teacher be? Whether it be elementary school, high school, junior college, college, you always think of, read more and more today of the young and schools and dropouts and we hear too little perhaps about the teacher himself. Now lately the teacher, particularly junior college teachers in Chicago have been in the news because they've been involved with the problem. The problem I suppose organizing, being members of the union and perhaps we can have someone outline the basis of this problem. We have four teachers, four junior college teachers here in Chicago with different points of view being offered. Dr. Mary Mainwaring who teaches at Wilson Junior. Dr. Mainwaring yours, you tea--Your audio--

Dr. Mary Mainwaring I'm an audio visual director. We have an audio visual service that services the whole college with everything that they need other than books.

Studs Terkel Well perhaps we could even ask you about audio visual work and its impact on teaching, later on, perhaps peripheral to this particular subject. Gordon Murray, Amundson Mayfair Branch, you teach, Mr. Murray?

Dr. Gordon Murray I'm a biology professor, formerly at the University of Tennessee, been with the Chicago City College almost 15 years now.

Studs Terkel Fifteen years, and Dr. Morris Springer, he, you too are at Amundson Mayfair a colleague of Mr. Murray.

Dr. Morris Springer That's correct. I teach French there, and I'm, I also teach French at Roosevelt on a part time basis.

Studs Terkel And Peter Senn at Wright Junior.

Dr. Peter Senn That's right. I'm an economist. I teach economics and social science there.

Studs Terkel And we've been reading in the papers, and perhaps been settled perhaps not, the junior college teachers seem to have a beef don't they, a specific one? Suppose we sort of outline it and from this will come different attitudes of the four panelists here concerning the teacher.

Dr. Peter Senn Well I can kick that off. The teaching load in the Chicago Junior College system is 15 hours to give you one example Studs. It's been 15 hours for almost 50 years. There has not been any improvement in these hours in almost half a century. It's unbelievable but it's true. We have a calendar that we're trying to improve for the students because our calendar is now out of gear with all the students, with the, pardon me, with the calendar of the schools to which our students will go. Our pay is lagging. We used to be A by the American Association of University Professors rating, now at the higher levels we're down to B and C and we have a list of such grievances like that. They're mostly related to improving quality education which has been badly neglected by the Chicago Board. And I don't think anybody disagrees with that including the state legislature and Mayor Daley. And as a result of this the teachers have felt that since nobody seemed to pay any attention to quality education we had a very grave responsibility to try to improve these conditions for our students. Now some of the benefits will redound to us but the central aim of those of us working for this improvement is our students. And you know that ties in with your earlier question, what is a teacher. Well in my view a teacher's got something to do with children student's education.

Studs Terkel What are your thoughts concerning this? At the beginning of course we'll identify each of the members, say your piece perhaps, what do you feel like, and then we'll just leave it wide open to everyone. Mr. Murray you were thinking.

Dr. Gordon Murray Well I was thinking that don't we have comparable situations in many institutions in this country with regard to this 15 hour teaching load. [I mean?] Dr. Mainwaring mentioned some time ago that conditions were similar at Northwestern or perhaps far worse. And yet these other schools seem to be able to abide with these situations without resorting to drastic measures such as strikes.

Dr. Peter Senn Well Northwestern would hate you for that. I recently returned from a stay at Northwestern. I had just finished four months there. My entire teaching load was one graduate course.

Dr. Morris Springer Do I understand you--

Studs Terkel Dr. Springer?

Dr. Morris Springer Do I understand you imply then, Gordon, that you're satisfied with the 15 hour teaching load?

Dr. Gordon Murray Oh by no means, no. I think this is a situation that needs remedying. But what I'm saying is that this situation prevails. This is not unique just to our particular situation in the Chicago City Junior College. That other institutions have had similar situations or worse.

Dr. Peter Senn Yeah, but not high quality institutions, I would say. The University of Chicago is running three to six hours. If you if your standard is the poor or--

Studs Terkel When you say, pardon me, I'm just going to break this down. Three to six hours, meaning what, as against 15. I think we just assume--

Dr. Morris Springer Well three to six hours means contact hours, actually teaching a class. Of course on the one hand I certainly would like to have the hours reduced but I'm a University of Chicago product and possibly citing the University of Chicago as the other extreme is stacking the cards a bit because there, this is one of these--University of Chicago was one of those prestigious institutions that's publish or perish. The reason they give you such a small program is that they expect you to distinguish yourself by publishing and you're supposed to be doing research. I don't think that anybody in a junior colleges, any of the deans would object if we were to appear in publications but their main aim is for us to be good teachers, at least so we've been told.

Studs Terkel So the 15, if I may understand this and Dr. Mainwaring, I know we haven't heard from the lady yet. The 15 hours you're talking about 15 hours before the class?

Dr. Morris Springer Yes.

Studs Terkel Is that it?

Dr. Morris Springer Mmmhmm.

Studs Terkel And the implication for quality education, are you talking now about junior college, this, you feel is too much of a load is that the idea?

Dr. Morris Springer Yes.

Dr. Peter Senn Yes. All this--

Studs Terkel To prevent you from doing what? Dr. Mainwaring?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Mr. Terkel, this 15 hour load sounds easy to people who are not college teachers but it involves all the correction and papers and all the preparation before lectures, making up your own tests in many instances, your own demonstrations, your own bibliographies for term papers for your people [to do?]. There's a great deal of preparation involved. There is a tremendous nervous strain in meeting in class, keeping it under control, especially if it's a large lecture section. It's terribly difficult to keep them working with you. It sounds like an easy job, 15 hours. It involves invariably at least three hours of preparation or correction for every contact hour.

Studs Terkel So that 15 hours could be a pretty good 60 hour a week, in view of what Dr. Mainwaring has said?

Dr. Peter Senn Easily, easily.

Dr. Morris Springer And I think that what should be brought here now is not so much the question of the hours as the relation of the class hours, what we call contact hours, with the what you might call the residuals. We're all of us here I think old enough to remember when pedagogy meant meeting your class, preparing for a class, grading papers. But with the tremendous I would say invasion of colleges by students ever since the war, whether you are elementary or high school or junior college, you are expected to be an armchair psychiatrist and a counselor and you're supposed to have enough--I would say in some cases you are expected to stand in loco parentis. You're supposed to have office hours and you're supposed to see to it that you either take care of the problems of certain students that you have or send them to the right person. Pedagogy, the concept of what is required of a college teacher, has ballooned to the point where if you don't watch out you can get so involved in their problems that you sometimes crowd out your own. So the whatever contact hours are taken as a base here have to be seen in the in the light of what other demands are automatically made on your time.

Dr. Peter Senn I want to throw a slow ball to Mary here. She was telling me a story of the additional kind of duty that doesn't come up every day but is faced periodically.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Yes. Only today before I came down I was handing out to all the department heads very detailed sheets and which must be listed every piece of equipment that the Board of Education has ever supplied to us through all these years. And they must be listed by commodity numbers and by the date when we received them so that someone can figure out how much they're worth. When we transfer from the Chicago Board of Education to a new Junior College Board of Education somebody wants to know what our net worth is [laughter]. It isn't much because one of the most conspicuous things about the Chicago City Junior College has been its lack of buildings. We are meeting in high school buildings at night or in--

Dr. Morris Springer Elementary.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring School buildings that have been abandoned by other groups. We have a building an old office area that was never meant to be a school.

Dr. Morris Springer Wasn't it a warehouse?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring It's called a warehouse but it was really the Rock Island office building.

Dr. Peter Senn Oh yes.

Dr. Morris Springer And the railway still goes by.

Studs Terkel And the railway goes by.

Dr. Morris Springer I think you have one advantage over Mayfair. When Amundson expanded out from an evening school in the Amundson high school building over to the Mayfair, well now we've been in that building four or five years, and I think that it was just the year or two ago that they put in fountains that you didn't have to bend double to get to. It's still, I mean it's been quite makeshift.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Our building was supposed to be the Farragut Elementary School and it had the little fountains and the little tables and the little chairs too, everything for the little children. And I believe an enormous amount of money was spent converting it but it's still just a very old inadequate building.

Studs Terkel Course as I'm listening to our four teachers talk there seems to be agreement here as to what the grievance is and it's quite definite. Now at least the audience understands 15 hours does not mean 15 hours. Obviously means something close to 60, 65, and thus it obviously must affect the quality of the teacher and the--

Dr. Morris Springer I think so.

Studs Terkel Now what, yet I know that Dr. Mainwaring and Mr. Murray don't have the same approach to what to do about it as Dr. Springer and Peter Senn, am I right? In assuming this?

Dr. Morris Springer Yes, [I think?] that's correct.

Studs Terkel Now what is the now what is the difference--

Dr. Peter Senn I'll wait 'til we see [laughter].

Studs Terkel What is the diff--What would you say, Dr. Mainwaring, is the difference of opinion?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Well I don't think a union can get us buildings and I think buildings are our greatest need. And I don't feel that unions are wrong per se but strikes are impossible among college teachers. They will hurt only the students who can't afford it. They are nervous enough and struggling enough. There are other ways for college teachers to solve their problems than to threaten to strike or to strike. If you have read the book "The Academic Marketplace" you'll realize that all of the conditions of work in this system are well-known and published and everybody knows what they are when he starts to work. Nothing secret about it. And if you don't like it you don't have to work here.

Dr. Morris Springer But that doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't try to better your conditions.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Oh of course--

Dr. Morris Springer One should always try to better his conditions.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring And we all do and they have improved greatly.

Dr. Morris Springer Well I'd like to ask you something else. Evidently, well and I, it's my opinion that just about everybody who is in the colleges, that teachers up to a certain point don't envision themselves as union individuals and a striker as a priori, right?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Right, true.

Dr. Morris Springer I would say that we don't start off expecting to do this. But, and if I may give something in my own history and how I happen even to be sitting around this table. I am one of those phenomena known as a U of C Ph.D. and I've always had the concept of myself as being stuck in my books which I really have been and I guess everybody has his threshold. And this business of teachers' rights when the this union began stepped on a very sensitive corn, and what I'd like to do is to bring in a little bit of my personal history to point this up. I spent 17 years of my life on and off either on a part time or full time basis in Jewish education. Now when you are religious education the parents are essentially putting into your hands the religious and moral training of their children. And I think their religious teachers whether a Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, or whatever you may be work for low salaries generally, are expected to, are expected to be very forbearing and self-sacrificing, and I, the, here in Chicago about five years ago or six years ago the teachers of the Orthodox day schools who are very dedicated, in desperation decided that they were going to strike. And I went to a few of the meetings and the attitude of the powers that be ranged from "Oh now come now really ladies and gentlemen, you can't really mean you're going to do this," which was a kind of patronizing looking down, to downright rough refusal with our demands. And 15 years ago when I came back from Europe from a Fulbright, my wife and I went to work in a Jewish day school in the city which I'd rather have remain nameless and we contracted for a certain salary, and at the end of the year the school ended up owing us $350. And after about two or three years we decided let's see if a sue scare won't bring something out of them. And I have retained in my files a letter from one of the Board of Directors and I think that a few of the sentences in here will show why the soul of a teacher can turn. [reading] "Before you came to the Hebrew Academy you probably checked its financial status"--

Studs Terkel This is the letter you're reading here?

Dr. Morris Springer Yes. [reading] "And undoubtedly discovered that the school had not fulfilled its complete obligations that the teachers formerly engaged by the board of directors. You therefore entered into a contract with the school with full knowledge that perhaps at the termination of your year's service the school would be unable to meet the complete financial agreement made with you. Please believe me I do sympathize with you but the school thus far has only been able to meet its budget according to its income. You are very fortunate that the debt owed you is not any more [laughter] than the $350 [unintelligible]. In every business the proprietor must also figure out a certain percentage of loss." In other words we were being told that we should feel lucky that we were not stuck for more than $350. Now I'm trying, and I'm almost finished, to draw an analogy here between people who teach--If people who teach in a religious school because they themselves have the knowledge and the convictions that go with this religion, I think that if they finally organized and decided to strike and got some kind of rights that the secular ones who certainly there is some kind of a fortiori argument there. I think that as I say each person has his own his own boiling point and from whatever I've seen of the latest strike threats certainly every step was taken. We don't, I know I always conceived of possibly of unions and striking as being at least pink if not deep red. But then you discover when your own toes are stepped on then if you have some own convic--Your own convictions and opinions, that, well let me quote Dryden: "Beware the fury of a patient man."

Studs Terkel Thinking, Dr. Mainwaring and her thoughts, and Dr. Springer and his, autobiographical note. Mr. Murray, your thoughts concerning--

Dr. Gordon Murray The wheels are really turning, I should tell you. Seems to me that in settling disputes of any kind or trying to settle grievances or problems, that resorting to things like strikes and wars are very poor ways to settle any kind of a dispute or crisis of this sort. That the professional people particularly are supposed to be people who use their mentalities rather than force and that it might be better to try to reason a way out of these things than to threaten people with a very powerful weapon called a strike. Even at people who resort to this strike have often wondered about its efficiency and whether it, the propriety of it. And in a learned profession or any kind of professional work it has always seemed to me that strikes are just something definitely out of place.

Studs Terkel Peter Senn will you--

Dr. Peter Senn Well I'd like to respond to a couple of things. It seems to me we're all agreed and no reasonable observer could disagree that we have to better conditions and we're discussing here not the ends but the means. Now Mary suggested that if you don't like it here go somewhere else. I don't know that we need to spend a lot of time on that. Those of us who are interested in Chicago, who live in Chicago, who work here who make our life here have an interest in the children here. And when you say go somewhere else you're essentially saying abandon these kids to whatever their lot is. I would insist on throwing in again that a teacher's obligation is to his students, a professor's obligation. If the conditions are bad and they're hurting the students as they are under the present administration of the Chicago system then to go elsewhere is to abandon them to these things. Now having established that, the question is how do you go about improving it. You, it's been put forth here that strikes are not the way but what way is there if you have pleaded for 50 years with a group and they've turned you down. If you see a steady deterioration and you're turned down then I would say when all reasonable means fail you have to resort to whatever power you have. And I'd say one thing more because in my thinking as I say I insist on always relating the children and educational process to the teaching condition. What does it mean to a child as in Chicago when the school system is bad and not getting better that the teacher abandons the child, abandons concern, is unwilling to work for the betterment of the educational lot? This is my approach and so I would use the union as a means. Now nobody wants to strike but this is a means to an end and it's an important educational end that we're talking about.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring But it just happens to be illegal. I think my biggest objection to this kind of strike or threat is that it is against the law. If you'll excuse an analogy in my audio visual center they have a great many phonograph records. Many of them assigned listening in humanities and literature and foreign language and social science courses. And many of these students come in with little old tape recorders and they want to copy these records that they must listen to. And I say I'm sorry, they may not. It is a violation of copyright. And they say, Well what do you care about that? Let me copy it. What's the copyright to you? And I say, Well it's against the law for you to copy it. And I am not here to help you break the law. They still can't understand why I won't let them do it. And then I--

Dr. Peter Senn There is no law against striking, Mary. I don't agree with you.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring A public employee, a schoolteacher, is forbidden by law to strike in--

Dr. Peter Senn Not in the state of Illinois. Of course not.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring In most instances--

Dr. Peter Senn No it is not. No wait, facts, you know we have a lawyer here maybe Studs but I have cert--There is no law. There is not--

Studs Terkel I went to law school. However I know less about law than the average layman. A Freudian block has been set up [laughter]. I'm sorry to interrupt, now go ahead.

Dr. Peter Senn Well I just want to say there's no law in Illinois that says we can't strike.

Dr. Gordon Murray The Illinois state legislature though I believe frowns upon this sort of thing.

Dr. Peter Senn Yes but let's make it illegal.

Dr. Morris Springer Besides which I think even if there were such a law that is ought to be changed.

Dr. Gordon Murray Governor Romney of course, Michigan lately has announced to the world that [unintelligible] teachers and all public employees have no right to strike.

Dr. Peter Senn And that was a good doctrine from the Middle Ages--

Dr. Morris Springer It certainly was.

Dr. Peter Senn And it's being overthrown all the time.

Dr. Morris Springer It certainly was.

Dr. Gordon Murray I believe his reasoning here is of course that public employees, people who affect the lives of the rest of the population should be people who carry on with their jobs and not lay down their arms [and beat?] and quit when they don't like the way things are running--

Dr. Peter Senn [I want to tell you?], the Kennedy administration--

Dr. Gordon Murray Because this can work to the harm, the injury of entire populations. Thousands of--Millions of people have been injured in these strikes including innocent women, children, so on.

Dr. Peter Senn Not by teachers. Now wait, let's not get [throw in?] emotional here. The federal government is on clear record that federal employees have a right to unionize and if necessary strike.

Dr. Gordon Murray There is no question about their right to unionize.

Dr. Peter Senn And there is no que--First of all to say that people have been hurt by teachers strikes is quite off, I think not borne out.

Dr. Gordon Murray Mmmhmm.

Dr. Peter Senn The studies we have are that losses due to illness of children, due to parents taking their kids on vacation are far greater than any such losses.

Studs Terkel You know Mr. Murray raised an interesting point here, it's a philosophical point yet it's directly related I think to the core of this and concerns image, public image. You spoke earlier, professional people, the implication they perhaps are not quite the same as say blue collar in this respect.

Dr. Gordon Murray Absolutely. And this goes back to Dr. Senn's previous remark that if teachers cannot strive to correct their grievances what other recourse do they have. I would like to suggest that we have professional societies in the educational profession who are committed to reasoning and working together to intelligently try to solve their problems by other means than using this weapon of strike. And I would submit that people who are in the educational profession should join these societies, work to make them stronger, and avoid joining the unions who seem to be more concerned with the rights of their members than the rights of the people whom they are serving.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring That's why--

Dr. Morris Springer I don't feel quite as altruistic as that. When it comes to aquestion of image, here again I'd like to cite the, something that I, similar to what I cited before. I think that the question of the image of a teacher is, that is an idealistic hardworking individual who under no circumstances will as you say it "lay down his arms," is one that the powers that be I would dearly love to have us preserve but it has been proven over and over again when you were dealing with management that you very--this includes boards of education--that you can very seldom get anything out of them unless they're back to the wall. So when it comes down the last analysis they are saying to you you stay quietly and in a dignified manner in your corner and don't unionize and don't strike. This will equate you with the Reds, with blue collar workers and so on. You do it through it nice dignified channels, but we in the meantime are going to kick you in the shins but don't you dare kick back. You just simply turn the other cheek.

Male Voice Mmmhmm.

Dr. Morris Springer Something else. I think that the teacher's image should be changed, and here is the analogy I was speaking of before. The Arab-Israeli war for independence began in May of 1948 when the British left Palestine and it became Israel. And immediately of course the Jews began to--The Arabs attacked the Jews and there was this war. While at the high holy days following this attack the rabbi in my congregation made a remark that I have never forgotten which I think is comparable here. He said, I wonder if you realize that the word pogrom has now gone out of style because the word pogrom meant by definition Cossacks coming down a Jewish villages and murdering pillaging and the Jews just simply bowing their heads and not fighting back. Now this is possibly a bit overdramatized but I think that it is about time that the teachers quit turning the other cheek and letting the other guy who manages them use clout and never respond in kind of any circumstances.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring I'm sorry the Board of Education has been so cruel to you. They've never been anything but very kind to me.

Studs Terkel [Unintelligible]

Dr. Morris Springer I've said that they were acting like any bosses have. They will concede things only when they absolutely have to and not too far.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring I've had much worse bosses. I used to make a living in the motion picture business making training films, filmstrips, and all that kind of thing. During the war and subsequently. T hose are really hard bosses and really hard jobs. You don't see any gray-haired people in them.

Dr. Peter Senn I'd like to say a word of professionalism.

Studs Terkel Perhaps we should because in a way I think this is really the core of it, professional coming back again to Mr. Murray's comment and Dr. Mainwaring's as well as Peter Senn's and Morris Springer's differences of opinion, that we're talking now that a professional person as against someone else who may use another technique to win what he feels is his due. What were you thinking?

Dr. Peter Senn Well I want to get us semantically clear Studs on professionalism. That word has many meanings. I assume we're not referring to the oldest one in the world [laughter], because that's one, one meaning. Then, ballplayers are thought to be professional. That's another kind of meaning. And then the American Medical Association is often held to be the paradigm of professionalism meaning self-regulation, rules of ethics and the like, but it's very significant that with the case of the American Medical Association you have the most backward force in American medicine and it's held back social progress for years. So that if you, depending on your definition of professionalism and I reject the A.M.A. paradigm, I reject the oldest one in the world, and I reject the ballplayer image, what we may be talking about here is setting up a new image of a professional for a teacher and to me this would be close to something like a person very much concerned with his students, with what he's teaching them, with integrity. This is the image I like to project. But I didn't want to break in before we toss this word around, professionalism, so we're clear that we don't mean, least I don't mean, all these things that the word usually stands for, and I hope my colleagues don't mean those words either.

Dr. Morris Springer I think professionalism, if you get very semantic about it, could be construed by many people as a profession, well how we should behave in the profession as against a nonprofessional blue collar worker.

Dr. Peter Senn Well then I say which profession you see,--

Dr. Morris Springer Yes.

Dr. Peter Senn That's the point I'm getting at.

Dr. Gordon Murray Well something like the educational profession to me means a profession and occupation which is not for personal or financial gain. That is a service to attempt to educate people.

Dr. Peter Senn Well this will get close [to that?].

Dr. Gordon Murray And that the matter of financial gain, personal gain does not enter into the picture. And therefore I can see no reason for any educator if he's not in it for personal gain, financial gain to be interested in joining unions and having strikes against lesser pay, things of this sort, improved working conditions, which are all things that the labor management sort of thing--

Dr. Morris Springer [Unintelligible] rose-colored glasses. Come on Gordon, you work for a decent living too. You have four children and I don't think you're working merely--

Dr. Gordon Murray [I feel that?] the present a situation with regard to salary and working conditions while it could be improved is not so drastically detrimental to [our?] working that we need to resort to things like strikes which you can do some more harm to students, population, public at large, taxpayers all. Incidentally since the taxpayers are the ones who are paying us for our occupation I don't see how we could properly strike against the taxpayers.

Dr. Peter Senn Oh I would disagree with that. You see that's the model of education as a business and the bus--The man who pays in business therefore calls the tune. That's where, I would say that contradicted your earlier view of a profession because to regard education as a business--

Dr. Morris Springer Mmmhmm.

Dr. Peter Senn I think it contradicts your view--

Dr. Morris Springer Yes.

Dr. Peter Senn Very much so I would reject that argument on logical grounds.

Dr. Gordon Murray I wonder I wonder if there is any real difference in the concept of a strike from say a mutiny or a rebellion. I know if a child rebelled against his parents saying he was going on a strike because his parents wouldn't give him what he wanted, well he would undoubtedly be turned over the knee and spanked, which is what it seems to me what should be done with people who want to strike.

Dr. Morris Springer Would you therefore retrospectively decry all civil disobedience all revolutions and all strikes that are taking place?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring We're not talking about those things. We're talking about--

Dr. Gordon Murray With reference to educators, education.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring A small group of college teachers who decided to call a strike in our school. One man said, Well I voted to threaten to strike but I didn't mean really to strike. And this is the kind of thing that worries me.

Dr. Morris Springer Well you know I think that what has been left out here and should be--I think that what's been left out here and what should be brought out, and I think that Peter Senn knows this possibly better than any of us, are the intermediate steps right here in Chicago that were taken before this threat to us was that was made. I mean we seemed to be creating the impression here that there was a leap from first requests denied to a strike threat if we didn't what we wanted.

Dr. Peter Senn Oh there's a, we have been begging, pleading, cajoling. You mentioned joining professional organizations. I happen to be the founder of the Wright chapter of the American Association of University Professors, have been a member for over 20 years. We have been able to make no dent whatsoever. And this is understandable on the part of the board. They have 20000 teachers; we're 500. They have completely neglected us and as I say I can appeal to the legislature and everybody who's studied it knows they neglected us. When they neglect it, and when you see your students hurt by this neglect I would argue quite in opposition to that a professional educator must stand up for the rights of his students.

Dr. Gordon Murray These professional organizations need to strengthen their ranks that is increase their membership. This is one of the big problems as to why they're not getting very far with their reasoning and mediation because they have an insufficient membership. And I would think that educators would do better to join these professional organizations, swell their membership, and avoid this [sideline?] business and unionism and striking which seems to be more relegated to some profession outside or I should say, some occupation outside--

Studs Terkel By the way, Mr. Murray, did you feel that the earlier you spoke of of strike as being somewhat mutinous in nature. You wouldn't fell this about a nonprofessional, let us say someone working at the steel plant or, course we've had--

Dr. Gordon Murray I think it's a matter of individual situation. I can assume a situation maybe where a strike would not do tremendous injury to the public or many people involved. It might be simply a matter between individuals or small groups of individuals or an employer which would not affect large populations [at all?]. Something like this might possibly be done.

Dr. Morris Springer When have you known a strike to be so limited in its scope and so convenient in its occurrence that it never hurt anybody?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Strikes do hurt people. The question is--

Dr. Gordon Murray This is the problem. There's always somebody hurt in a strike.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring [Unintelligible] who does it hurt?

Studs Terkel Doesn't it come back to--Who are--

Dr. Gordon Murray [Unintelligible] large numbers of people.

Studs Terkel Doesn't it come back to who are the people really were thinking of, aside from the teacher and his family who are we, we're thinking about the students now aren't we?

Dr. Morris Springer I think we short-changed the students--

Studs Terkel Now we come to the question of what is, why did you become teachers you know because I'm sure there are other occupations you could find that probably pay more you know. And how then is the student, would you say, I'll leave this open, is affected by what happens by the teacher and is seeking his due?

Dr. Gordon Murray Well certainly if a strike like this one that had been proposed had gone through many students who paid tuition, other students too, would all have been seriously injured I think.

Dr. Morris Springer I wonder how closely you're in touch with the fact that if the students' present mood and all the sit-ins and demonstrations that had the strike gone through we would probably have had a great many of them on our side and not only because some of them would have been delighted to miss their exams.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring They were [unintelligible].

Dr. Gordon Murray Well they would have missed their exams all right.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring They didn't want to miss their exams [and their grades?].

Dr. Morris Springer I said that, I said, I did not say that I said I think you would have been surprised to find out how many would have been morally with--

Studs Terkel The question I was [unintelligible] is perhaps even beyond that. I'm just wondering, the student--The teacher and a student; teacher now is involved in something that concerns his livelihood. There are two different approaches that are projected here. How is, Peter or Dr. Mainwaring, anyone, how do you think--Is the teacher a, is he, does he have more rapport with the students? Less? Is he affected one way adversely or perhaps the other way?

Dr. Peter Senn Let me talk about this in terms of the quality of American life and just what a student-teacher relationship involves. Presumably this is a democracy. In a democracy presumably people have a right to steady improvement, to stand up for what they want. They should not, and this is what I think the strike threat, and if necessary a strike, brings out, the student is sees that his teacher is an independent thinking person willing to work for others because the students know we're not striking for ourselves, obviously, or primarily, and oppose that to the past image of American teachers and momism. You know there's a lot that American boys are raised by women in a paternalistic school authoritarian pattern of education and this does something. When people are raised and educated by teachers that will not stand up for themselves, that will not think on their feet, will not act in their own interest, I would argue that cuts at the whole idea of democracy. And to me a teacher is an independent thinking acting person and should have much more to say about running the schools than they have to say today.

Dr. Gordon Murray A teacher certainly ought to be an individual who has sense of responsibility to his students, to the public, to his employer, these are the concepts of loyalty. All of these things too. [Unintelligible] student's image--

Dr. Peter Senn I would, not the employer. No.

Dr. Gordon Murray I think of what a teacher is.

Dr. Peter Senn Now I would argue with you on the employer. That's, you're back to that business paradigm again.

Dr. Gordon Murray Well if someone hires me--

Dr. Peter Senn A teacher's interest is to the truth to his students, and the employer is only an intermediate bond.

Dr. Gordon Murray You mean you have no loyalty to your employer?

Dr. Peter Senn Not, not as, if you're calling my employer or the Chicago Board of Education.

Dr. Gordon Murray Whosoever it may be.

Dr. Peter Senn That's a corporate body and--

Dr. Gordon Murray Whosoever, individual or group employer.

Dr. Peter Senn Oh I would argue that a teacher who is thinking of his employer and neglecting his students and neglecting truth is not fulfilling his role.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring I don't believe our students are suffering for these reasons and not one of mine would ever be persuaded that I am abused and holding still for it. They can see me wear to school on winter mornings the mink coat I bought with my poor wages from the Board of Education and they know how independent we are, in fact they'd all like to be the same. The fellows who work for me want to be audiovisual directors--

Studs Terkel They would also like mink coats [laughter].

Dr. Mary Mainwaring And they certainly would. And in our neighborhood its very good for the students to have contact with educated people and see what they do with their time and their money and their lives.

Dr. Morris Springer Well the two gentlemen on either side of me can contradict me if I'm overstating something but here we have Gordon on one side who has made a big case for the professionalism of the teacher and for his dedication to his job in a secondary concern with his own material benefit, and here Peter has talked about the first duty of being to the student in the sense that he owes the truth to the student and not so much to the employer. I have a middle ground. I feel that first of all I certainly would like to have in this affluent society of ours a modicum of it without having to be too far behind the general benefits that other people in my profession are getting in comparable schools. But then again it seems that we have paid a great deal of attention here to certain aspects of what a teacher is but not enough to the nature of our profession as it relates to our role in the classroom. The mere fact that we are teachers, that we, our job is to relate to students, that we are essentially conveying certain ideas and ideals of education by the nature of our job, that we automatically pose a certain image a to student because we are older, we've got the degrees, we've got the experience, and we stand in relation to a kind of superior who has to give him a grade or who who can can help him achieve his ambitions. I think that this, since we are in a society now where the students--Where the teachers, especially college teachers, have almost replaced the parents in many cases through as authority figures or emulation figures that as Peter says if we past a certain point to allow ourselves to go along as dignified dignified and very very patient nonentities that we do do the students an injustice by that. I really think so.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring There isn't one of us who can claim to be a non-entity anywhere and I don't know any. You know our faculty. They are a fiery, opinionated, energetic, highly educated,--

Dr. Gordon Murray Yes they are.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Highly vocal group.

Dr. Peter Senn Why--

Dr. Mary Mainwaring You're taking about people I don't know.

Dr. Gordon Murray Any faculty member meeting would bring that out.

Dr. Morris Springer Well you hear the vocal ones; the silent ones you don't.

Studs Terkel Course this leads, obviously we have two--I think what's fascinating about this round table, I'm sure the listeners would agree with me, two different philosophies really, their basic difference is in approach, all four are teachers and I'm sure all four are excellent teachers. And yet two different philosophies involved here as to what a teacher really is outside his classroom and how it affects his classroom and his students. Is he, is he a better teacher for the student to whom indeed does he owe prime loyalties? And what is a teacher? So perhaps another question. And this is hanging beautifully I think, and the audience itself can come to its own conclusions, or thoughts, [unintelligible] thinking. Isn't there another aspect involved? Recently there was the social workers dispute too, in which the social workers felt they should also have a role, aside fighting for improvement of their livelihood, a role in the administration and more of a role closer to their clients, the people involved. Does this apply to this particular dispute too? The teacher and curriculum? The teacher and his say in the curriculum of classes? Is this part of it too?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring You can't have it both ways. You don't want extra work, but now you say you want a role in administration. That's exactly what I've been doing today is administrative work and I'm not asking for sympathy. If you want to take on extra duties, do it. But don't at the same time try to cut down your teaching. That's the crux. That's the front line.

Dr. Peter Senn Why can't we do both? You see my approach here is that the teachers other major human resource both numerically and strategically in the educational process, and they must have something to say in order to be effective about their teaching. If more administration is required then they'll have to teach less as they do what all the major universities. The entire university tradition is self-administration from the free universities in Europe up to the great universities in America today. And I assume that teachers can make a very great contribution here. Now on administration I should say one word. The most common superintendent of education in the United States is the male gym teacher who has a Ph.D. in gym education. The administration is typically not trained to be administration. In our own city system if you were to look at the administration you would find practically none of them have professional training in administration so they move into the system administrative hierarchy in some obscure way after they leave teaching for a few years they get way out of touch with what a classroom is. So my point, to recapitulate, teachers are the human resource numerically and strategically in education. They must therefore have a role in administering and determining policies. That would be my view.

Dr. Morris Springer I don't think by the way from what I've seen that there is too much danger in having people I mean teachers, dedicated teachers, who would dabble in the administration to the extent of having a say let's say in the curriculum and other policies. I don't think there's much danger that we are going to lose or that they will either do too much administrative work or that they're all going to shift into it because how many how many of us have see case after case of classroom teachers who have been persuaded let's say for two or three years to take on a deanship and after three years or so the college paper has a headline, "dean so-and-so has decided that he wants to go back to the classroom." This more often happens than not. Paperwork and PTAs and so on may be good on a fulltime basis with those who really [like this?] from the beginning. But I think that the bigger percentage of us who like the classroom want to have a few fingers in the pie, not the whole fist.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Well Peter doesn't want the gym teacher as administrators. And the reason gym teachers become administrators is that they're very amiable friendly people who are used to getting people to do things as they want. They're experts in human relations and scholars are not necessarily. Well--

Dr. Morris Springer Oooh.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring I'm not-- [laughter]. Well people think that gym teachers are good public relations people and it works out the same way. I'm not advocating this but it's why it happens and the administration is tough and a lot of teachers would rather be in a classroom; that's exciting work.

Dr. Morris Springer Wait a minute now. If I might permit me to be a bit cynical. If there--it is true that there are some of the gym teachers that the administration don't you think that some of them might do it because when they get to be a little bit less limber they look around for greener fields [laughter]--

Dr. Mary Mainwaring That has a great deal to do with it.

Dr. Morris Springer [Stay until?] sixty-five.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring After 10 years they want to get off that hoard floor. Shop teachers also.

Dr. Morris Springer And I can't blame them, I can't blame them. It also happens to be that in many cases in high schools, let's say a 60 year old English teachers whom the principal wants to put out to pasture suddenly become grade counselors. Some who are about as fit as I am to orbit the moon [laughter].

Dr. Gordon Murray Well it's always been thus hasn't it, that people are always fighting people who are in authority, administrators so on. But there must be someone who is the leader. It's very much like the captain on the ship. I mean we can't just fight the captain constantly, finally throw him overboard, mutiny, so on, rebel. The captain and his mate so on are duly constituted authority to run this ship. And even in schools we must have these administrators who do this job for us. And if we don't like them I don't think we can resort to things like strikes and rebellion to try to overthrow them, do it by forceful means.

Dr. Morris Springer But ships sometimes develop barnacles.

Dr. Peter Senn Well I would go for, again I have to disagree completely. You're assuming these analogies of yours, whether a school is like a business or a ship, I just would have to reject because to me in the college tradition in the whole history of intellectual truth and freedom has simply been that the teacher is the last word for the student and in the classroom. And if you say that somebody else can tell you what to do I think you're rejecting the whole history of Western intellectual freedom.

Dr. Gordon Murray But we can't all be chiefs. It seems that is what is trying to do--

Dr. Peter Senn Oh--

Dr. Morris Springer That's not true.

Dr. Peter Senn That's a must, we must in our--

Dr. Gordon Murray Everyone's trying to get a finger in this administrative pie. We're all trying to [administrate?].

Studs Terkel Obviously this is a very fascinating cliffhanger it seems to me. This is--

Dr. Morris Springer Some of us really want to to shake up our chiefs a bit, Gordon [laughter]. We don't want to be chiefs. We just--

Dr. Gordon Murray [Unintelligible] want to do away with them entirely and lead to anarchy.

Dr. Morris Springer That's begging the question.

Studs Terkel I found this a very fascinating one. I think that obviously there are two different points of view here. Before we have one last go round, and incidentally Dr. Mainwaring, the hour has gone very quickly. Well I suppose--

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Yes, [it has?].

Studs Terkel I was going to as, Dr. Mainwaring, one point about your class [unintelligible] book of audiovisual training and the records--

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Yes.

Studs Terkel That you're--Can I understand that you had the records for the children right? And one of the kids wanted to take the record off?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Well let's not call them children. They're teenagers and older.

Studs Terkel Teenagers, let's say. Older.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Yes they they would like to copy the recordings and they are copyrighted and of course there's the problem that the records have been played and they've got a little noise in them and the tape recorders are small and not very good and the results would be bad and then they'd come back and they'd beef at me you know, they wasted their tape and their time and it's rotten and it's just simpler to tell them the truth. They are copyrighted and fair use would not allow them all to copy all the records. There's this principle of fair use in the copying of copyrighted material.

Studs Terkel Would they have played that--Excuse me--Would they have played that at home? Is that the idea?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Well--

Studs Terkel They wouldn't have sold it or anything?

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Who knows what they would do with it, whether--

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring It's not up to me to follow them home and find out.

Studs Terkel No, I just--Curious.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring But it is--

Studs Terkel Where the line is drawn.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring It is a bad habit in some audio visual centers to buy one copy and make ten. And if you keep that up pretty soon the original material won't be available for sale; there would be no profit in it.

Studs Terkel Perhaps we should have one last go round. [Unintelligible].

Dr. Gordon Murray Well, what I was going to say is it looks as if problems are pretty well resolved now. The mayor has appointed a new board. And my goodness we're in a Class One college now, the state building authority I understand he has the right to give 20 million dollars for lands, buildings; seventy-five percent of state funds going to all this purpose, and the--

Dr. Morris Springer Yes but--

Dr. Gordon Murray And the whole thing looks as if it's going to come out very well.

Dr. Morris Springer Yes but don't you think, don't you--

Dr. Gordon Murray I think also all this has been known all along that this would happen and that this strike--

Dr. Morris Springer Gordon--

Dr. Gordon Murray which is prematurely--

Dr. Morris Springer Gordon , take off your blinkers.

Dr. Gordon Murray Was unjustified.

Dr. Morris Springer Take off your blinkers.

Dr. Gordon Murray [Yes sir?]. They haven't been on.

Dr. Morris Springer Take off your blinkers.

Dr. Gordon Murray Not at all.

Dr. Morris Springer Do you think, do you think that, don't you think that the mere fact that the mayor met with the bargaining committee of the College Teachers' Union and that a board was appointed by today so soon afterwards,--

Dr. Gordon Murray No, I--

Dr. Morris Springer Is the best proof of any, of all, that we had to exercise a little bit of clout to get this?

Dr. Gordon Murray None whatsoever. This was all in the planning. It was the way it was going to happen whether the union had said one word or not. It had all been prearranged. It was necessary that this be done in order that we get the funds that are coming to us. The whole thing had to be done and settled by July 1st. And I don't that think any union action has brought this about any quicker than it would have occurred under normal situation--

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Suppose we have a last go around. Ladies first. Dr. Mary Mainwaring, Wilson Junior College.

Dr. Mary Mainwaring Well I hope that the strike threat did not keep any good people off the board on which we will depend from now on for everything that we need and have wanted for a long time. I am still not persuaded that we could have benefited our students by striking. I am not a member of the union, and after all this I don't plan to become one. I might have been persuaded if it hadn't been for this strike threat at this time, which I think it's probably turned me away forever. Also I am not persuaded by arguments that the A.M.A. is terribly reactionary and backward and a great many other wild generalities about what other people are doing don't affect this situation in my mind. Our students need us there. We are not underpaid. We are not greatly abused. Look around you. I have a friend who hasn't had a raise in 10 years and he has to rent his own office space in a private school. I think we are not greatly to be pitied. We must work for betterment continually but I think we should do it in the Association of University Professors.

Studs Terkel Dr. Springer, I'll come back [with?] a sort of equalized seesaw. Morris Springer of Amundson-Mayfair.

Dr. Morris Springer I think that when something happens after the fact, you know everybody has very good hindsight. But I have an idea that the two philosophies here are essentially one of two of us willing to kind of wait and hold our breaths and let things evolve I think with the slowness of evolution, and the other two of us feel that the time has come to push things a little. I don't want to-- I wonder whether this is a curveball to conclude with. But I think that all members and the junior colleges who are not member of the CCC T U will sooner or later find themselves like characters in "The Little Red Hen." They didn't want to sow the seed or do any raking or plowing but they'll be around when the bread is baked and handed out.

Studs Terkel Dr. Gordon Murray of Amundson-Mayfair.

Dr. Gordon Murray Well fine, as Dr. Springer said, this gradual evolutions, natural selection, is bound to come. Evolution will evolve, it will go on despite unions or strikes or whatever may come to pass. [I'm a?] biologist [laughter]. I would also say that as long as I remain a member of the educational profession, and I've been one for 20 years now, I would never have any intention of going on a strike against my employers, the public, or anyone, taxpayers, anyone to whom I might do injury by such an action.

Dr. Peter Senn Peter Senn, Wright Junior.

Dr. Peter Senn Alright. I'd like to just say that no teacher wants to strike. But if we adopt the view that we are professionals, that we have deep obligations to our students and to the truth then we are forced to work for improvement of conditions. Working for the improvement of conditions can be done in many ways and I certainly agree with that. But there comes a time when it seems we're at a dead end. The civil rights movement founded years ago and they had to resort to sit ins and other things. We in Chicago have found that we reached a dead end a week or so ago and had to resort, not to a strike and it shouldn't be put that way, to the threat of a strike in order to get improved conditions and not for ourselves but for our students.

Studs Terkel Thus we have for teachers in Chicago, junior high schools--

Dr. Morris Springer Colleges.

Studs Terkel I beg your pardon! All four will attack me! There's common ground for the four of you.

Dr. Morris Springer [Unintelligible] [acronym?]

Studs Terkel All are members of the junior colleges. Very articulate teachers expressing obviously two different philosophies involving the role of a teacher, the student, his responsibilities. Dr. Mary Mainwaring of Wilson Junior College, Gordon Murray of Amundson-Mayfair Branch, Dr. Morris Springer of the Amundson-Mayfair Branch, and Peter Senn of Wright Junior. Thank you very much lady and gentlemen.

Dr. Peter Senn Thank you.

Dr. Morris Springer Thanks for the chance.

Dr. Gordon Murray Thank you.