ERIC Number: ED258623
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct-21
The Importance of the Humanities in the Age of High Technology.
Crowder, Daniel B.
During the half a million years that man has been on earth, three fundamental technological revolutions have taken place: the agrarian revolution, the industrial revolution, and the era of high technology. In contrast to the first two revolutions, the high tech revolution has taken place at a much more rapid rate, causing pressures that have many people reeling in confusion while trying desperately to determine intelligent ways to adapt. This revolution has tremendous implications for American community colleges, especially as it applies to preparing workers for changes in their old positions and for emerging occupations. There is a tendency for some schooled in the humanities to view the whole mechanical world as an unwelcome intrusion on the world of higher thought and to resist changes to the traditional college curriculum. By contrast, those trained in the sciences and technologies urge radical alteration of the curriculum to prepare people for the myriad of new technical occupations they see emerging on the scene. What is called for is a rational analysis of the emerging high technology era and its implications for program and course content in community college curricula. A review of research on the jobs and skill requirements of the future indicates that: (1) no more than 5% to 7% of the new job openings will be in high technology, with most new employment opportunities requiring little technological knowledge; (2) the average worker of the future will change careers or require job retraining several times during his/her working years; and (3) employers express preference for their employees to possess the intellectual skills of the liberal arts rather than specific job skills. In summary, the liberal arts, and especially the humanities, are the heart and core of a college education and should be an integral part of every technical program. (AYC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Meeting of the Mid-South Association of Community and Junior Colleges (Dyersburg, TN, October 21, 1983).