ERIC Number: ED180900
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Contingency and Freedom: Important Concepts for an Educated Society.
Thompson, Mark E.
Individuals in general and educators in particular should be knowledgeable about and understand the social implications of contingency and freedom. Contingency--a possible or unforeseen occurrence--is interpreted in light of the unpredictability of nature which insures that people cannot be prepared for every possibility. Freedom is interpreted as the desire to be liberated from the control of some person or arbitrary power. Education contributes to the concept of freedom by enhancing human potential through reason and it should be viewed as a means of bringing out the best qualities of people. Society, in contrast, is often dominated by political leaders who are motivated more by a desire to control than to serve with caution, integrity, and flexibility. For example, it is frequently alleged that Robert S. McNamara (Secretary of Defense in President John F. Kennedy's administration) applied overly mechanical and excessively rigid technological processes to complicated social and political situations. Educators should help students become more critical of social and political phenomena by encouraging them to be curious in addition to transmitting knowledge to them. And, perhaps most important, educators must strive to be creative scholars and must not be overly influenced by governmental policies and grants. (DB)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Behavior Patterns, Behavioral Science Research, Decision Making, Educational Needs, Educational Objectives, Higher Education, Humanization, Leadership Responsibility, Political Influences, Power Structure, Psychological Needs, Social Change, Social Responsibility, Technology, Values
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A