How Increased Educational Funding in the 60s Engendered the Hippie Philosophy
Mentor:Beth Clary, Professor in the School of Humanities, Irvine Valley College
It was one of the most dramatic turning of eras when the sexless, stringent fifties became the free-form, worldly sixties. People generally attribute the rise of the 1960s counterculture to the Vietnam War. However, Hippies may not have actualized at all, if not for the “Education For All” movement. It was this movement coupled with the youth’s flagrant disapproval of the US war with Vietnam that made the recipe for rebellion. The war was but an expeditor for the Hippie Revolution that really took root in increased access to higher education. Where in the past, a large portion of the public was chauvinistic; an informed “common man” was conceived at the commencement of the 1960s decade. This common man was well-educated, anti-war, and experimental in every aspect of life—from sex to art, from drugs to spirituality. For the most part, the new generation was “out of the dark” as academic courses in the humanities allowed people to entertain a broad range of ideas and critically process them before accepting them.
For the first time in history, the government acknowledged education as a human right, rather than a privilege, only to be afforded to rich Caucasian men. In the 1960 UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, members of a United Nations agency agreed that academics play an invaluable role in shaping life path. The convention sought to make education universal, extracting segregation and discrimination from institutions. From this sprung a new generation of young adults, more knowledgeable and well rounded than any of its forerunners. It was a enlightened generation who, not only knew a great deal more than its predecessors, but also were confident enough with its arsenal of knowledge to brazenly contest the values that society impressed upon it for decades.