As I listened to the excellent talks in this conference, especially in the session on "Education
in Optics in Different Countries," and learned about the educational systems in the USSR, the
United States, Japan, China, and other countries, I began to muse on the more general question:
What are some of the more general characteristics of an educational system (indeed, of any
system) that are important for the health and the development of that system, independent of
its formal organizational structure? From these musings I would like to offer a few very general
and impromptu thoughts in answer to that question.