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ERIC Number: EJ1020716
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
20th-Century Humanism and 21st-Century Technology: A Match Made in Cyberspace
Samuels, Harry
English Teaching Forum, v51 n3 p2-9, 19 2013
This article discusses the origins of humanistic education beginning in the 1960s. The philosophy gained popularity among educators in a variety of disciplines and was adopted by teachers of foreign languages. That method was based on the premise that if students feel better about themselves, they will achieve greater results as learners. Additionally, the philosophy said, the more inclined students are to share their feelings, interests, values, hopes, and dreams, the stronger and more self-confident they will be. This innovation in teaching was known as the humanistic approach to education, and exercises developed for the classroom were referred to as humanistic activities. Today, with the increasing popularity of social media, students have new forums where they can share their feelings with others. Traditionally, humanistic activities designed for the classroom have not been dependent on advanced technology, so they serve as realistic possibilities for teachers in nearly every context. But because an increasing number of teachers and students have access to the Internet, the exercises described in this article are also Internet-adaptable, and they include instructions for using web platforms such as chat rooms (also known as message boards or online forums) or more recent innovations such as the web-cam chat and a social network. This article presents four humanistic exercises that have been adapted for this new era in global communication. These exercises are examples of ways that humanistic teaching can add to classroom learning whether using chat rooms, Nings (an online social network with membership limited to individuals who are invited to join and participate), or other social media.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A