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On automation and technological change. From New York City Riverside radio in cooperation with the American assembly presents the third of four programs on automation and technological change. Program 3 considers the subject. Some educational implications of modern technology. The panelists today are Luther Evans Director of International and legal collections at Columbia University and Harold F. Clark professor of economics and education at Teachers College. Now with some introductory comments. Here is your moderator. I've are either Byrd Associate Professor of Business at Columbia University Dr. Bird. In America there's little doubt of the proposition that public dialogue is an essential ingredient of democracy.
Dwight D Eisenhower had this in mind when he conceived the idea of the American assembly. In 1950 the assembly and adjunct of Columbia University was brought up for public discussion 20 for issues of national policy. The publication of books meetings throughout the United States radio and television broadcasts. These have been the means by which the assembly has encouraged Americans to give serious consideration to vital issues run such issue automation and technological change as the subject of this American assembly program. I am Professor Ivor Berg of the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. With me to discuss some of the educational implications of an age of technological change I'm Mr. Luther Evans from the director general of you know skull and director of the National Education Association project on the educational implications of automation. And Dr. Harold Clark of Columbia Teachers College. Dr. Clark is noted for his studies in the economics of education. Mr. Evans is currently director of the law
and East Asian libraries at Columbia University. Dr. Evans I beg to ask you whether automation and other prophecies of technological change affect traditional American educational objectives Furstenberg it seems to me that they do in the first place. Our traditional objective in education has been to provide the individual with the resources he needed to develop himself and to be to himself a useful member of society. Today I think one of the objectives has to be the education of the individual as a participant in the national economy. This doesn't shift the values so much as it does the support I think it means that there is a greater public interest and there should be greater public pressure
to see that every individual is educated because his education is vital to society as well as to himself. I think another thing that is important here and that is that we need to reconsider the whole question all of the ways in which we educate people because in a period when there is such an explosion of new knowledge which simply cannot be my master in its entirety we have to shift our educational objectives to a mastery of the principles by which a person takes in this constant daily flow of information and make some sense out of it so that there has to be a shift from a rote learning from memorization the facts even from the
learning of facts to a learning of principles. It seems to me that is one of the big shelves. Now this means of course since there is an explosion of knowledge that we have to do another thing we have to keep learning as we go along to adjust ourselves to the new knowledge. Professor Clarke would you agree that we have had a shift in our objectives along the lines that Mr. Evans was just it was three that we should've had to shift as to how much the Farmall schools have actually shifted I think probably could be discussed with great profit. I don't think there's any question about the factual statement that you made that the there should have been and will have to be a very great shift. The assumption in high school that you can give the student what he needs for the time he graduates I would almost go so far as to say that a high school graduation
should not any longer be a major goal. What we should aim for is a student who knows how to go on with his education indefinitely and is willing to do it. And this may take some pretty drastic changes before we're through. I don't have to be as were implicit not fully developed I agree with Dr. Clark that we haven't fully adjusted in our educational structure or procedures or motives to the factual situation that has arisen. There would be some implication that in what both of you were saying that we have to some degree lost track of. The aims and objectives of education that were part of the scheme of things in the early days of the republic where education was directed towards producing a full educable. Person rather than a specialized trained individual. I'm not sure that that was true in the early days of the Republic I think their education
was mostly to produce preachers or doctors and lawyers rather than a fully educated mind I think it was a little bit later that we got this real concept that everybody of a democracy needed education as a part of his personal fulfillment. When you say that in the history that came a little later Dr.. I think so. And of course we still had the idea and I think there was a whole lot to the thing then that a person could be taught in school essentially all that there was to learn that this was a reasonable thing. Sergeant first went to college you have a reasonable grasp of the available knowledge. All the things you've said suggests a specific question. What kinds of curriculum changes would one have to anticipate over the next few years that we should direct ourselves to in the interest of producing the educated man. Along the lines you
describe. Well I might say a word about that but I think that Clarke and those are great they have more about this sort of thing than I do. It seems to me that one of the main changes in the curriculum must be the emphasis on learning the structure of knowledge in particular areas learning how to find the five acts and learning how to evaluate them in terms of certain governing principles. The young that I would have difficulty in going you need to construct special curricula to do this at different age levels and you have to think in terms of. New curriculum climbing when you're taking people on a second tour through phases of their educational development. But I think first a Clarke could could give much more of a sensible answer less alike. I would agree entirely with this day and I think the types of changes Bob Lieber go pretty much out of what we've said before that if
you view the educational process and the amount of knowledge as something that you can cover and learn during the formal school period you're going to approach it in one way. If you assume that you are in a world where knowledge is going to continue to increase at a very rapid rate and that you're trying to give people the skills and Eileen the language mathematics some of the basic tools and particularly the ideal that they have to go on with their learning then I think this is going to make some very drastic changes before it's over. I would like to ask Professor Clarke one specific question. We have heard a lot recently about teaching more science and mathematics wouldn't you say. Professor Clarke that this should be conceived of not solely in terms of making people into technologists or technicians but should be conceived of as
part of everybody's liberal education. Oh yes that should be the approach. Another thing I heard the head of the physics department and one of the most distinguished universities in America say recently when he was asked did he think it was important for a high school student to have physics. And his answer I think was extremely important. He said that he would far rather this student would have a great deal of mathematics that he needed the tools to be able to go on with the physics. Now there may be some elementary science that he needs to understand as a citizen but the you have two things going on here. You need far better tools for the person who's going on in the technical field. He's got to have a lot more math before he starts. And he's got to go along with it and probably in most of the sciences. So-called physical sciences and possibly even the social sciences. And he
needs some approach if he's going to use it as a citizen and as to what the two things are I think we're still quite confused about the whole thing. Could we anticipate that some of the rather faddish discussions of new teaching methods are relevant to our discussion here. Can we anticipate that some of the newer devices teaching machines and the like would be parallel in their implications to the needs you describe with respect to curriculum change. Can we teach people to think better by these newer devices can we anticipate major changes in their learning process and the device and the devices we used to teach people how to think and how to learn. Well I would like to. Attempt to say something about it. I have a feeling if we approach the matter in terms of the development of printing from moveable type we probably would get something pretty close to the
correct answer. The university is we're not happy at all about the development of printed books. All you've got to do is to go back and read the record. They were against it they were opposed to it. They thought it was not a good thing to let the student have access to the book. The professor read the manuscript and lectured. This is a story that anybody can read. Now obviously we have adjusted to print and probably very few universities would be too happy to go back to manuscripts in the have no printing books a printed book is a technological gadget. Exactly. In my opinion like. Radio or TV Are any of the other gadgets that are being discussed. I think a very powerful one but I would be inclined to take the position that all of these new gadgets should be explored to their extreme limit. They may have a limited use in the formal academic institution. I would assume that
they will be just as loath to use them. The looks as though from the record that the university used were not really happy about the printed book for at least a hundred years and possibly 200. I would assume it'll take them at least that long to adjust to any of these new gadgets. I think the important part of the new gadgets though will be they should enable us to find other ways of getting a large amount of knowledge and information. Too many people who would not otherwise get it. And I think this is the important part. Story it as it does part of the job that teachers now available are likely to be available cannot do. I do think however that in the case of program learning we do have a refinement of the teaching technique by use of lecture and textbook which can be extremely useful. I think it's an improvement of traditional methods now adding the teaching machine is just adding a piece of gadgetry that doesn't help a great deal but the idea of program
learning learning in small steps being reinforced by giving and having an AI answer given right away as to whether you're right or wrong does make children learn more rapidly and it gets rid of a lot of the social distraction which happens in an ordinary classroom. And it may be extremely important not the point. One of the high priority goal of this school of the future will probably be to get this student to the point that he can go on learning. As far as we can tell about half the colleges in the country are pushing independent study very hard and undoubtedly carefully programmed learning will be an important part of self instruction when we really begin to use it on a mass scale. Are you gentlemen representing as you do leading educational thinking. Identified with a leading educational institution has shown a remarkable flexibility with respect to our educational
objectives and the need for a revision in our thinking on matters of curriculum. Would you be equally willing to. Suggest that perhaps we ought also to rethink the formal staging of our educational process. Or are we feathered in an age of rapid change technological as well as social to a formal programme of six years here and four years there and four years someplace else. Mr Evans Perhaps you would address yourself to that. I think the first fact we ought to note in this connection is that. We are not as completely encased in a formal public school parochial school and university and college complex for carrying on the nation's educational work as we sometimes assume that we are. I think Professor Clark is the one to give us some conception of of the magnitude of the US.
But as I've looked at the problem from the standpoint of how can we answer the challenge of technological change and upgrade our whole educational activity the way we would have to do it to meet this challenge. I have assumed that a great deal of the activity is going to go all in. In various ways outside of what we normally consider the educational establishment properly speaking I think a great deal is going to have to go on in the context of the job that someone is doing to improve himself in the job and to improve himself in the comprehension. That is basic to the good performance of the job but can also be useful in other kinds of jobs. I think we're going to have to do a great deal OG new thinking about devising special curricula for special kinds of situations for people who've reached
different levels of education people who have deficiencies of one kind and another so that I see a great proliferation of this kind of activity outside the formal structure on the other hand. I also see the formal structures we now have adapting themselves more and more so that they can be a location for this kind of activity and can carry on some of it themselves. The correspondence courses of universities and high schools as an example and a great expansion could take place in the lab. A great expansion could take place in vocational education even if for members of a certain shop or other establishment. Mr. Evans I think you've raised an additional question here that we might throw to Professor Clark the questions we've been discussing up to this point seems to me I've heard a great deal to do with youth and I was wondering
Professor Clark if you might tell us what you think about the problems of the mature American in connection with some of them. Mr. Evans comments was cut short so to speak by technological change and automation. What are the long and short range prospects for success in our retraining programs for these mature Americans. I'd like to put the question are the answer in the larger context. I think exactly as Dr. Evans does stated that we are in a period of extremely rapid change of devising an amazing range of educational institutions over beyond and after the formal school after the A B or and they are Ph.D. after the person starts to work this probably is the most surprising thing that is happening educationally and I world. And the range of these. Schools starting with those in
industry. Industry is running a larger range of educational programs than all the colleges and universities. It's bigger they're spending more money on it. It brackets almost everything that is taught and extends beyond it on almost all sides. The thing I think the meaning is here that industry is not doing this for its health it's doing it because it is found out that the highly educated trained worker makes the continuous adjustments that have to be made in the modern world. I think this is one of the reasons of the relatively high productivity in industry and the relatively low productivity just a beautician system. There's a great difference in the amount of education provided in the manufacturing in the economy as against the distribution end. It's just that specific. It's very hard to explain why developing one not in the other. We turn to the military we find here an educational
program that is larger than all the colleges and universities and again I do not think it was done because they wanted to. I think the increasing complexity the military equipment the job to be done understanding the social setting and importance of it as simply Forish the development of a very elaborate educational system. So I think what we're seeing is the rise of a long series of programs of education that most workers will have to get involved in. We take of a specific bank in the United States I might not mention the name of the banks where the largest banks in the country. We made a very careful study of it as far as we can see about 25 percent of all their workers in that bank are engaged in educational programs formal classes taught by the bank about another 25 percent are in classes taught by the American is due to banking about another 25 percent are in classes taught by other
than the formal education institutions in the community. But the most startling thing is that although something more than 75 percent of all the workers in that bank are now in school. At all levels from the officers on down the percentage is increasing from one to two percent a year. Well obviously this can't go on very long to have everybody in the bank in school and it looks like it's heading straight that way. Perhaps I could side with critics for a moment and ask Mr Clarke on the basis of your research whether in your judgment this in company in firm on the job or off the job and privately subsidized educational activity qualifies as education in terms of the definition both of you offered earlier in our discussion. Does it facilitate people's capacity to undertake continuous learning experiences.
Where is it. The kind of narrow education that may serve the relatively narrow interests of the agency but not the long term interests of the individual. Some is broad and some is done exactly the same as in medical school. I would say some of the medical school education is how to open up the brain and perform an operation. It's highly technical. Some of it is general. I think exactly the same thing is here how the proportions would fall in any given case. I think you'd have to go into a specific group of courses to get the answer. Perhaps I could pin you down even further Mr quote. Or was it your impression on the basis of your research that there was a sufficient amount of all purpose learning experiences in these programs for us to look upon them with considerable favor or would you see a great need for these kinds of programs to improve.
Well I would say that all of these programs are to improve the let me answer it this way. Obviously the programs and industry you would expect to be somewhat on the way down the vocational side. I think they are a great many general ones over in the field of language history or social sciences fine art. On the other hand there is a. Program of education growing up in the United States involving thousands of school seemingly some 40000 schools that take high school graduates other than the colleges and universities remember there are only 2000 of them and they are in large part heavily weighted towards the Schools of Music Art dramatics the leisure time the cultural thing. There are seemingly tens of thousands of doctors who are taking courses in painting. Not that they ever expect to become professional painters. I don't know whether this is good or bad it is simply a fact in American life today.
One thing that bothers me Dr. Clark would these private efforts of one kind or another. Being a substitute for people who haven't gotten to high school for completing high school I think we would almost say and everybody connected with them would encourage everybody who possibly can to complete the formal high school the formal college. I think the question really should be put the other way. Only about 15 to 20 percent of the population is going to graduate from college unless there are drastic changes in the proportion in the proportions. So how about the other 75 or 80 percent. How about the person after he graduates from college. After all he's only going to have a little taste of art or music or of literature or of history. The important thing I think is that for the first time because of technology with all of its handicaps troubles is going to cause as it is beginning to offer us for the first time I think in
human history a chance for everybody to go on regardless of how much education he's had. And I think this is the real promise of the situation. I wonder if. Listeners don't end up at this point in our discussion. Concern with a question that begins to come to my mind as the two of you speak. I wonder if we should start anticipating some new problems in the financing of education. You've both talked about the need for continuous education you've talked about employment and on the job training training subsidized more or less by private agencies. Should we rethink even beyond what has already been done. These problems of paying for the long run needs. I am not terribly bothered about our capacity to pay for these needs. When you think the gross national product in this country in the past three years has increased 20
percent. It seems to me that if a fair proportion of such increase went into education we could do a far better job than we're doing at the present target. I for one however would not want it all to come from the public eye. I think maybe Dr. Clark could give us his idea about this because he's studied the way some of these special programs are for. I think this is the hopeful thing that at last we're beginning to tap an enormous range of means of support some of it from industry. Some of it of course obviously coming from government but flowing through the military but extremely large amounts of it probably well over half the total and some estimates are as high as two thirds of the total are now flowing through other channels. I think for the first time we're beginning to tap in a major way the earnings of people after they start to work to pay for both specialized in general education and many varieties.
I would hope we would expand the governmental type and I think we are in the process of discovering a great many new ways to pay for it. Occurs to me that we have a need on the basis of your comments to do much more than we have done to awaken the attention of the American people to our educational needs. Is it your judgment gentlemen that the educational establishment as one of you referred to a moment ago is capable of awakening this concern. I think it has to play a role in awakening at but I think it's the job of all concerned and interested citizen. I think that includes politicians I think everyone who is concerned ought to help awaken this interest. Thank you. Luther Evans and Harold Clarke for your enlightening commentary on some of the educational implications of technological change. This has been the third in a series of four programs on automation and technological change
presented by the American assembly of Columbia University. Next week the final American assembly program will be on the social costs of automation. At that time Mr. Leo chern executive director of the Research Institute of America and Mr. Donald Michel of the Peace Research Institute will be our guest. From New York City Riverside radio in cooperation with the American assembly as presented the third of four recorded radio discussions on the automation and technological change. Heard today discussing some educational implications of modern technology where Luther Aves director of International and legal collections at Columbia University and Harold F. Clark. Professor of economics and education at Teachers College. Moderator was I've already Berg associate professor of business Columbia University.
Next week a discussion of some social implications of automation. This is the national educational radio network.
Automation and technological change
Some educational implications
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WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This program explores the possible impact of technology on education.
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Discussions of the implications of automation and technological change.
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Host: Berg, Ivar E.
Panelist: Evans, Luther Harris, 1902-1981
Panelist: Clark, Harold F. (Harold Florian), 1899-1987
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-33-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:21
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Chicago: “Automation and technological change; Some educational implications,” 1964-09-23, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Automation and technological change; Some educational implications.” 1964-09-23. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Automation and technological change; Some educational implications. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from