ERIC Number: ED388377
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov-10
Technological Education and the Postmodern Humanities.
Long, Thomas L.
For many students, the community college is the first and perhaps only place where technological and humanities instruction will be articulated. It is suggested that technology has never been far from the set of practices, usually academic, called "humanities" and the boundary between the two has long been unstable and contested. However, while technology is generally viewed as ideologically neutral, widespread business/education partnerships have imposed commercial and technological agendas and metaphors on education at the colleges. Confusion among humanities faculty over the issue has prevented a critique of commercial and technological ideologies dominant on many campuses. Partnerships with business are understandably attractive to education; the single most frequently cited benefit to such partnerships is that they provide new sources of funding. However, these partnerships also bring along such elements of the business agenda as a profit-obsessed consumerism, an alienating vocationalism, and a ruthless utilitarianism. Students become alternately the "customers" or the "products" of the business of education. This language is not particularly disturbing because it replaces humanist jargon with corporate jargon, but because it signifies the commoditization of learning. The humanities should not resort, however, to self-defensive assertions of vitality in terms of business culture or retreat to nostalgic exile. Instead, the humanities recuperated by a postmodern turn to critical, rhetorical, and historicist analysis, can expose the ideological underpinnings of consumer technoculture, rather than merely complaining about it or collaborating with it. (Contains 16 references.) (TGI)
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Conflict of Interest, Corporate Education, Educational Change, Educational Philosophy, General Education, Humanities, Labor Force Development, Partnerships in Education, Postmodernism, Role Conflict, Role of Education, School Business Relationship, Technical Education, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference of the Community Colleges Humanities Association (Washington, DC, November 9-11, 1995).