But it would not be very satisfactory to leave our conclusions at the point just reached .
Fortunately , it is possible to be somewhat more concrete and factual in diagnosing the involvement of values in education .
For this purpose we now draw upon data from sociological and psychological studies of students in American colleges and universities , and particularly from the Cornell Values Studies .
In the latter research program , information is available for 2,758 Cornell students surveyed in 1950 and for 1,571 students surveyed in 1952 .
Of the latter sample , 944 persons had been studied two years earlier ; ;
hence changes in attitudes and values can be analyzed for identical individuals at two points in time .
In addition , the 1952 study collected comparable data from 4,585 students at ten other colleges and universities scattered across the country : Dartmouth , Harvard , Yale , Wesleyan , North Carolina , Fisk , Texas , University of California at Los Angeles , Wayne , and Michigan .
We find , in the first place , that the students overwhelmingly approve of higher education , positively evaluate the job their own institution is doing , do not accept most of the criticisms levelled against higher education in the public prints , and , on the whole , approve of the way their university deals with value-problems and value inculcation .
It is not our impression that these evaluations are naively uncritical resultants of blissful ignorance ; ;
rather , the generality of these students find their university experience congenial to their own sense of values .
Students are approximately equally divided between those who regard vocational preparation as the primary goal of an ideal education and those who chose a general liberal education .
Other conceivable goals , such as character-education and social adjustment , are of secondary importance to them .
The ideal of a liberal education impresses itself upon the students more and more as they move through college .
Even in such technical curricula as engineering , the senior is much more likely than the freshman to choose , as an ideal , liberal education over specific vocational preparation .
In the university milieu of scholarship and research , of social diversity , of new ideas and varied and wide-ranging interests , `` socialization '' into a campus culture apparently means heightened appreciation of the idea of a liberal education in the arts and sciences .
Students' choices of ideal educational goals are not arbitrary or whimsical .
There is a clear relationship between their educational evaluations and their basic pattern of general values .
The selective and directional qualities of basic value-orientations are clearly evident in these data : the `` success-oriented '' students choose vocational preparation , the `` other-directed '' choose goals of social adjustment ( `` getting along with people '' ) , the `` intellectuals '' choose a liberal arts emphasis .
The same patterned consistency shows itself in occupational choices .
There is impressive consistency between specific occupational preferences and the student's basic conception of what is for him a good way of life .
And , contrary to many popular assertions , the goal-values chosen do not seem to us to be primarily oriented to materialistic success nor to mere conformity .
Our students want occupations that permit them to use their talents and training , to be creative and original , to work with and to help other people .
They also want money , prestige , and security .
But they are optimistic about their prospects in these regards ; ;
they set limits to their aspirations -- few aspire to millions of dollars or to `` imperial '' power and glory .
Within the fixed frame of these aspirations , they can afford to place a high value on the expressive and people-oriented aspects of occupation and to minimize the instrumental-reward values of power , prestige , and wealth .
Occupational choices are also useful -- and interesting -- in bringing out clearly that values do not constitute the only component in goals and aspirations .
For there is also the `` face of reality '' in the form of the individual's perceptions of his own abilities and interests , of the objective possibilities open to him , of the familial and other social pressures to which he is exposed .
We find `` reluctant recruits '' whose values are not in line with their expected occupation's characteristics .
Students develop occupational images -- not always accurate or detailed -- and they try to fit their values to the presumed characteristics of the imagined occupation .
The purely cognitive or informational problems are often acute .
Furthermore , many reluctant recruits are yielding to social demands , or compromising in the face of their own limitations of opportunity , or of ability and performance .
Thus , many a creativity-oriented aspirant for a career in architecture , drama , or journalism , resigns himself to a real estate business ; ;
many a people-oriented student who dreams of the M.D. decides to enter his father's advertising agency ; ;
and many a hopeful incipient business executive decides it were better to teach the theory of business administration than to practice it .
The old ideal of the independent entrepreneur is extant -- but so is the recognition that the main chance may be in a corporate bureaucracy .
In their views on dating , courtship , sex , and family life , our students prefer what they are expected to prefer .
For them , in the grim words of a once-popular song , love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage .
Their expressed standards concerning sex roles , desirable age for marriage , characteristics of an ideal mate , number of children desired are congruent with the values and stereotypes of the preceding generation -- minus compulsive rebellion .
They even accept the `` double standard '' of sex morality in a double sense , i.e. , both sexes agree that standards for men differ from standards for women , and women apply to both sexes a standard different from that held by men .
`` Conservatism '' and `` traditionalism '' seem implied by what has just been said .
But these terms are treacherous .
In the field of political values , it is certainly true that students are not radical , not rebels against their parents or their peers .
And as they go through college , the students tend to bring their political position in line with that prevalent in the social groups to which they belong .
Yet they have accepted most of the extant `` welfare state '' provisions for health , security , and the regulation of economic affairs , and they overwhelmingly approve of the traditional `` liberalism '' of the Bill of Rights .
When their faith in civil liberties is tested against strong pressures of social expediency in specific issues , e.g. , suppression of `` dangerous ideas '' , many waver and give in .
The students who are most willing to acquiesce in the suppression of civil liberties are also those who are most likely to be prejudiced against minority groups , to be conformist and traditionalistic in general social attitudes , and to lack a basic faith in people .
As one looks at the existing evidence , one finds a correlation , although only a slight one , between high grades and `` libertarian '' values .
But the correlation is substantial only among upperclassmen .
In other words , as students go through college , those who are most successful academically tend to become more committed to a `` Bill of Rights '' orientation .
College in gross -- just the general experience -- may have varying effects , but the students who are successful emerge with strengthened and clarified democratic values .
This finding is consistent also with the fact that student leaders are more likely to be supporters of the values implicit in civil liberties than the other students .
There is now substantial evidence from several major studies of college students that the experience of the college years results in a certain , selective homogenization of attitudes and values .
Detached from their prior statuses and social groups and exposed to the pervasive stimuli of the university milieu , the students tend to assimilate a new common culture , to converge toward norms characteristic of their own particular campus .
Furthermore , in certain respects , there are norms common to colleges and universities across the country .
For instance , college-educated people consistently show up in study after study as more often than others supporters of the Bill of Rights and other democratic rights and liberties .
The interesting thing in this connection is that the norms upon which students tend to converge include toleration of diversity .
To the extent that our sampling of the orientations of American college students in the years 1950 and 1952 may be representative of our culture -- and still valid in 1959 -- we are disposed to question the summary characterization of the current generation as silent , beat , apathetic , or as a mass of other-directed conformists who are guided solely by social radar without benefit of inner gyroscopes .
Our data indicate that these students of today do basically accept the existing institutions of the society , and , in the face of the realities of complex and large-scale economic and political problems , make a wary and ambivalent delegation of trust to those who occupy positions of legitimized responsibility for coping with such collective concerns .
In a real sense they are admittedly conservative , but their conservatism incorporates a traditionalized embodiment of the original `` radicalism '' of 1776 .
Although we have no measures of its strength or intensity , the heritage of the doctrine of inalienable rights is retained .
As they move through the college years our young men and women are `` socialized '' into a broadly similar culture , at the level of personal behavior .
In this sense also , they are surely conformists .
It is even true that some among them use the sheer fact of conformity -- `` everyone does it '' -- as a criterion for conduct .
But the extent of ethical robotism is easily overestimated .
Few students are really so faceless in the not-so-lonely crowd of the swelling population in our institutions of higher learning .
And it may be well to recall that to say `` conformity '' is , in part , another way of saying `` orderly human society '' .
In the field of religious beliefs and values , the college students seem to faithfully reflect the surrounding culture .
Their commitments are , for the most part , couched in a familiar idiom .
Students testify to a felt need for a religious faith or ultimate personal philosophy .
Avowed atheists or freethinkers are so rare as to be a curiosity .
The religious quest is often intense and deep , and there are students on every campus who are seriously wrestling with the most profound questions of meaning and value .
At the same time , a major proportion of these young men and women see religion as a means of personal adjustment , an anchor for family life , a source of emotional security .
These personal and social goals often overshadow the goals of intellectual clarity , and spiritual transcendence .
The `` cult of adjustment '' does exist .
It exists alongside the acceptance of traditional forms of organized religion ( church , ordained personnel , ritual , dogma ) .
Still another segment of the student population consists of those who seek , in what they regard as religion , intellectual clarity , rational belief , and ethical guidance and reinforcement .
Our first impression of the data was that the students were surprisingly orthodox and religiously involved .
Upon second thought we were forced to realize that we have very few reliable historical benchmarks against which we might compare the present situation , and that conclusions that present-day students are `` more '' or `` less '' religious could not be defended on the basis of our data .
As we looked more intently at the content of our belief and the extent of religious participation , we received the impression that many of the religious convictions expressed represented a conventional acceptance , of low intensity .
But , here again , comparative benchmarks are lacking , and we do not know , in any case , what measure of profoundity and intensity to expect from healthy , young , secure and relatively inexperienced persons ; ;
after all , feelings of immortality and invulnerability are standard illusions of youth .
Nor are optimistic and socially-oriented themes at all rare in the distinctive religious history of this country .
Kluckhohn recently has summarized evidence regarding changes in values during a period of years , primarily 1935-1955 , but extending much farther back in some instances .
A variety of data are assembled to bear upon such alleged changes as diminished puritan morality , work-success ethic , individualism , achievement , lessened emphasis on future-time orientation in favor of sociability , moral relativism , consideration and tolerance , conformity , hedonistic present-time orientation .
Although he questions the extent and nature of the alleged revival of religion and the alleged increase in conformity , and thinks that `` hedonistic '' present-time orientation does not have the meaning usually attributed to it , he does conclude that Americans increasingly enjoy leisure without guilt , do not stress achievement so much as formerly , are more accepting of group harmony as a goal , more tolerant of diversity and aware of other cultures .