Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bill Moyer’s World of Ideas: interview with Vartan Gregorian, librarian of NYPL

from the book log (1/6/89):

Bill Moyer’s World of Ideas. Interview with Vartan Gregorian, chief librarian of the New York Public library. Program on PBS, aired on KQED channel 9, San Francisco.

Excellent interview, one of the best half hours I’ve seen on television — recently, at least! Gregorian is an educator. One idea he advances — class (year-long) with five instructors, like Intro to Cosmos with Astronomer, Biology instructor, Geologist, Historian, etc., exploring the origins of & implications of the Universe. [Gregorian] stressed that with information doubling every five years, a four-year university education can only introduce the world to a student. We need the mental traffic cops to keep there from being informational gridlock in our brains. With ideology & creed falling apart around us we need a clear introduction to how different cultures, peoples, creeds, ideologies have solved problems, have approached the world, have ordered the Universe.

The Vartan Gregorian interview is available online at pbs.org.

Gregorian (from the PBS transcript): “Suppose we taught the history of World War II. Not how American diplomatic historians see it, but European diplomatic, Soviet diplomatic and Asian diplomatic. Suppose they argue about their methodology, archival sources, and this and so forth. Students will not be brainwashed or influenced. Students have to be exposed to varieties, possibilities, but also not to say everything is relativistic, but rather there is common endeavor to honestly seek the truth in order to learn from history.”

I wonder if he ever put the multiple teacher class idea into practice.

Gregorian also asks, if we find humans on Mars, “has Christ risen for them?”

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