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ERIC Number: ED400580
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Making Technocrats.
Tobin, Brian G.
The idea of a high level of literacy being important to holding the social fabric of the country together seems to be shared by policy-makers and professors, although they may disagree on the definition of literacy. Policy-makers like high tech; professors like book learning. Current trends in higher education reflect society's increasing dependence on technology. Educators must beware the use of computers and television in classroom instruction. Technology will not replace lectures and the basic book-learning knowledge necessary to critique lectures intelligently. Composition instruction, for example, targets effective written communication as a necessary component of critical thinking. But nowadays even professional thinkers of deep thoughts frequently fail to communicate--many educators use language that is imprecise, filled with abstractions and jargon. Their language is so loaded with meaningless "buzz" words as to be hopelessly obscure. Both computers and television should be used as teaching tools only with great care. A professor of computer science at Yale, David Gelernter, advises against confusing the means with the ends and blurring the distinction between teaching and learning. The declamatory tradition of the American language is an indispensable element of American freedom going back to this country's foundations. It has always involved the power of words to persuade and the value of interpersonal contact. No impersonal application of media or computers in the classroom can replace this tradition. (Contains 28 notes and 27 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A