ERIC Number: ED348707
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jan-5
Reference Count: N/A
The Dumbing of America: Education in the Media Age. Rancho Santiago College Second Annual Faculty Lecture.
Bales, Terry Wallace
In this high tech era when nations are competing fiercely for every edge, America's educational institutions are being accused of producing an army of illiterates who cannot read their graduation diplomas or locate the United States on a world map. The most significant change over the past 30 years is surely the environment surrounding the lives of the students who are presently being taught. The breakdown of the family unit, the rise of immigrants in the public schools, and a rush toward specialization in almost every subject have changed the educational environment. Many scholars are even beginning to treat the media as co-equals with the family and religion as the central shaping force in culture today. Led by Marshall McLuhan, some have argued that electronic media and print media of the past are fundamentally different. Television is now the most successful and most influential medium of all. Newspapers have been hard hit, and a striving after simplicity has resulted, with some suggesting that now speed is this nation's addiction. But having an informed citizenry is vital to the lifeblood of democracy. Thus, the challenges facing education in this new media age are staggering, with some scholars suggesting that all students take some sort of media education course. (Twenty-four references and a biographical sketch of the author are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rancho Santiago Community Coll., Santa Ana, CA.