Monday, April 05, 2010

The Intersection of Liberal Arts and Technology

Steve Jobs is the master salesman, but he shouldn't be the only guy who can communicate this concept: Liberal Arts and technology.

One of the nice things about reading the "21st Century Skills" vs. "Core Knowledge" argument is that it makes me feel like a uniquely sensitive genius who has the unique capacity to hold two not-actually-contradictory ideas in my head at the same time.

Of course, many other people in the US get this, although it can be hard to tell how many since people tend to pick up on the obfuscating rhetoric, but the best way to clean your mental palate is to do a little "international benchmarking," for example, looking at British Columbia's ELA "Integrated Resource Packages." See, whole provinces and countries understand there is no reason the two can't fit together perfectly well. In fact, there seems to be a global consensus on the issue. Only the U.S. is tying itself up in knots.

On one hand, I agree that we probably don't need national standards at all, but frankly, most other countries have literature and language arts standards that are pretty good, they're just nothing like the ones people advocating for national standards in the US want us to have. It is worth pointing that out.

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