Beyond Utility: Liberal Education for a Technological Age

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Growing fears about declining American competitiveness have underscored the urgent need for strengthening the study of humanities within specialized schools. In 1989, Athanasios Moulakis was asked by the University of Colorado to undertake a formidable task: developing an innovative program called Humanities for Engineers. In order to address the grave problem of providing for the humane education of engineers, Moulakis was obliged to consider the larger purpose of "liberal arts education" and how that purpose ...
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Overview

Growing fears about declining American competitiveness have underscored the urgent need for strengthening the study of humanities within specialized schools. In 1989, Athanasios Moulakis was asked by the University of Colorado to undertake a formidable task: developing an innovative program called Humanities for Engineers. In order to address the grave problem of providing for the humane education of engineers, Moulakis was obliged to consider the larger purpose of "liberal arts education" and how that purpose relates to the education of professionals. In Beyond Utility he eloquently describes how his own approach to teaching can be applied to all areas of specialized professional learning. Moulakis forcefully develops the thesis that ours is a time in which both the hopes and fears of humanity are inextricably linked with the development and use of technology. He challenges us to educate ourselves and our young people for meaningful lives that acknowledge the value of and need for both. Providing a fresh look at the currently raging "education debate" between proponents of a rounded, humanistic education and those advocating specialized professional training, Moulakis discusses such topical issues as multiculturalism, the canon, and the dangers of parochialism in a global economic, political, and ecological system. An innovative and powerful study, Beyond Utility will be of interest to educators in the humanities and in the sciences, to adults concerned with preparing today's youth for productive and fulfilling lives, and to industrialists who are attentive to the educational underpinning of competitiveness. Anyone concerned with the quality of life and the conditions of freedom in a technological age will benefit from this lively book.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In 1989, Moulakis (humanities and political science, U. of Colorado, Boulder) was asked to develop an innovative program called Humanities for Engineers at the university, an assignment which forced him to think through and clarify his ideas about the larger purpose of liberal arts education and how that purpose relates to the education of professionals. He recounts his ideas in short chapters on a wide range of issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826209290
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1993
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Doing Things Right - and Learning the Right Things to Do: Liberal Education for Engineers
1 Speaking One's Mind 9
2 A Manly Profession 13
3 Second Thoughts: The Needs of Advanced Industrial Societies 19
4 Literacy and Democracy 23
5 Technology and Freedom 26
6 Efficiency vs. the Love of One's Own 30
7 Cultural Literacy 32
8 Of Content and Form in Teaching 36
Pt. 2 The American Way in Liberal Education
9 The Tower of Babel 41
10 E Pluribus Unum? 44
11 Diversity and Its Discontents 49
12 "O! that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!" 54
13 Innocents Abroad 60
14 Manifest Destiny vs. the Serpent Columbus 65
15 Babylonian Captivity and the Suffering Servant 69
16 Separation as Collective Therapy 74
17 The Crustacean Theory of Culture 77
18 Herstory? 82
19 Conformity and Individuality 85
Pt. 3 The Confusion of Tongues
20 What Is the Tower of Babel For? 91
21 A Scientific Morality? 94
22 Two Cultures? 100
23 The Retreat from the Word 104
24 Teaching Values 110
Pt. 4 A Program
25 Courses of Study 117
26 Humanist Education 120
27 The Civic Mission of the University 122
28 Opportunities and Constraints 125
29 The Text-Based Seminar 131
A Last Word 141
Notes 145
Works Cited 159
Index 167
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