Black Mountain College Project
 

STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS
(1933-43)

Section 2: Teachers and Teaching: Outside the Classroom

    College picnic. Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archive, Black Mountain College Papers (scrapbook).    

INTRODUCTION TO THE SUNLEY PROJECT AND DOCUMENTS

Description of the Study by Robert Sunley
*   Letter to the Students
*   Guidelines
*   Brief Biographies of
    Contributors

*   Brief Biographies of
    Faculty Mentioned in
    the Memoirs
*

SECTION 1. ROLE OF THE ARTS

    Statement by Robert
    Sunley


The artistic process as
    a major goal.


*   Individual, active
    anticipation was
    fostered but not
    required.

*   Focus on really “seeing”
    and “thinking” for
    oneself, not on the
    production of art.


Self-direction, self-
    discipline, initiative,
    development of the
    whole person....

The arts were diffused
    throughout the
    education ....    

 

Trips

Leonard Billing: I studied economics with Gerry Barnes, who may not have been the best teacher, but he did encourage me to go on a trip to study the cooperatives that existed in the southern towns around BMC, because I was interested in the Rochdale "twin pines" co-ops. That was a broadening experience.

Robert Sunley: A trip made by several students (including me) and faculty to Harlan, Kentucky had a high impact on me. Armed men, hired by the mine owners, patrolled the streets and not too long before there had been real violence.... There were other similar trips to different places and for different purposes, but all had the common feature of being small groups with faculty and students, informal and into real life, not conducted tours.

Leslie Paul Symington: Early in 1942 a group of BMC students attended a conference sponsored by the International Student Service on students's stake in the war efforts and post-war planning. Bob Wunsch drove four of us to the University of North Carolina where about a hundred students from colleges throughout the South had gathered to hear Frank Graham, Stuart Cramer, James Carey (CIO), M.G. Mann, Arthur Sweetset, Jonathan Daniels, and Eleanor Roosevelt, with whom I had the opportunity to speak when we broke up into small discussion groups.

Norman Weston: A group of us went to Washington, checked into a hotel, called Senator LaFollette, made an appointment and went to see him. I recall sitting on the floor in his office and discussing matters.... I vaguely recall calling on Senator Norris in connection with a trip to the Norris Dam.

Leslie Paul Symington: Trips were highlights of my "Southern experience," sociological trips in particular. Nothing one had studied in earlier years or read of in a classroom situation could compare with the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere of a Georgia landscape, seeing the living conditions of black sharecroppers and learning firsthand what the government was doing about them.

 

SECTION 2. TEACHERS AND TEACHING

Introduction

Formal Aspects of the
Curriculum 

   Class Size 
   Grades    
   Advisors 
   Junior Division  
   Senior Division  
   Graduation

Methods of Teaching
   General

   John Andrew Rice 
   Josef Albers 
   Erwin Straus 
   Robert Wunsch 
   Others


Personalities of Faculty
  
John Rice  
   Josef Albers 
   Robert
Wunsch 
   Heinrich
Jalowetz  
   Others 

Outside the Classroom
   In General  
   The Work Program 
   Visitors -
   Trips 
   Drama 
   Interlude  
   Lectures, Concerts 
   Informal Interchange