Automation, Education and Human Values
reviewed by Jerry M. Rosenberg - 1967
This book is an edited effort resulting from a Conference held at The Pennsylvania State University. Thirty-three contributors include Hubert H. Humphrey, Francis Keppel, Margaret Mead, Anthony J. Celebrezze and other specialists in the fields of industry, labor, education, sociology, religion and psychology.
Automation, Education and Human Values purports to examine the past and present, and project into the future what society will look like as it moves into a more automated era. Some generalized recommendations to correct the ill effects of this evolution and assist man to enjoy its benefits are presented.
In many ways this book, is encylopedic in that it covers the widest range of any other writing in the field. Under "Outlook," for example, Stanley Lehrer writes well on man, automation, and dignity. In the section on "Humanistic Education and Automation," C. M. D. Peters reviews the education of the industrial manager as a humanist. In part three, "Varied Aspects of Education and Technology," the best contribution is Keppel's on automation as a bane or boon to education. The last unit contemplates "Man, Mind, and Soul in a Technological Age," and John Maclver searches for pertinent relationships between technological innovation and health.
Perhaps my bias is a function of the near hundred books and more articles that have been read on the subject. What is new that is worth reporting and reading is central to my thinking today. Automation, Education and Human Values is strong in that it brings together the thoughts of many. However, this nullifies in part the greater value of a concentrated effort to delve in greater depth and come up with something more original and less of an obvious opportunity for platform speeches.
For the more sophisticated reader he will reach out and demand more. For the general public, business and educational community, satisfaction will be derived from a rather well organized documentation of automation issues. For the reader who is looking for a "book of books" he will find this large volume waiting for him and may be content to know that School and Society has assembled a viable outlet of thinking in an era of rapid technological change.