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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald {Newspaper} - 1974-01-24,Lethbridge, Alberta ThiinMy. JMMMry ». W* - THI LITHIMDOI HERALD - 9 The manpower principle of education—2 By Howard R. Bowei, reprinted from University Affairs The foUowin« article It the lectiid part «Í an abriá|ed version ot a UUc given at the Mth annui «ntereaee ot the AitoclntioB of Gradaate Sebools In Ike Attoclatkn of American Universitiei. Howard R. Bowea, IthenK chnnceilor, Ciaremoat CoUefcf, if the author of many «tudlet and irtlcles on the financing of higher educatioai A major misconception about education is that its basic purpose is to pr^re peq>le for quite specific jobs, and that it is somehow wrong or wasteful to provide an educatiffli that wilt not be directly used vocationally. This oplniOD is based in part on the singularly unimaginative concept of a rigid, one-to^ne relationship betweeh education and jobs. Someone who apprentices as a plumber should be a plumber, a chemistry student should be a chemist, a PhD lit English should be a college teacher of English, etc. Any deviation from this correspondence is often regarded as a failure either of the educational system or of the individual. This view overlooks several obvious facts. One of the peculiar myopias of our time is the failure to see that the entry of people of diverse educations and interests and backgrounds into business and public affairs is a source of new ideas and new outlooks, not a kind of miscegenation. It takes little imagination to consider wbat it might mean to business or government if thousands of humanists, including PhD’s la subjects like literature, art, history, as well as science, politics, and economics, found their way into varied jobs; or what it would mean to the junior colleges, high schools, and elementary schools if large numbers of PhD's were to infiltrate Uwm. It is DO mar)[ of failure, rather a mart of »ucceas, that educaUoo - even strictly vocational education — has wide applicability and produces flexible and versatile people. This is especially so became career change has become commonplace and is desirable in a dynamic ecotKttny. True there are certain jobs for which specific training is required; but the reverse — namely that people with specific training are locked nto ^ific jobs — is ”*^E^atioii is often criticized for Its part in irrelevant and excessive emphasis on educational credentials in the employment, placement, and compensation of workers. Admittedly, college degrees are sometimes required when they are unnecessary and p^ pie are sometimes classified and compensated according to their degrees and certificates rather than according to their abilities. This criticism is just, but it might be directed in part toward employers, public regulatory agencies, professional associations, and unions as well as toward education.    ' Implicit in this criticism, however, is the idea that education for each individual ought to cease at the point where be has received the amount necessa^ for him to carry out his job, and that education beyond this point is wasteful and even corrupting. Also hidden within this criticism is the idea that people with college degrees should not be employed at work tliat is not commensurate with their education. For a PhD to teach in a high school or to take a business job is in some sense socially wasteful and personally degrading. No thou^t is given to the fact that well educated people have something valuable to iH-ing to the public schools and business uid to other parts of our social life outside the narrow niches we have conventionally carved out for them. All of these concepts seem to me to lose si^t of the fact that good education makes versatile people, that it can be used in many ways, that it can be valuable to individuals whether or not they use it vocationally, and that it can bring something of value to many aspects of our social life.    . The most disturbing part of our vocational orientation toward education is the belief that we are opening up higher education to too many people. This idea is based on the assumption that as enrolments grow both admis* sion and academic standards will fall. This is decidedly not the case. A recent study by Taubman and Wales, published by the Carnegie Cfflnmis-sion on Higher Education, shows that, during ^ years 1925 to 1963, when enrotments increased by several' times, the average ability level of students entering coUege actually rose. Moreover, all evidence indicates that there are still millions of students not in higher education who are basically as bright and able as those who are. Clearly, simple morality obliges us to open opportunities to these people as fast as possible and not shut oft education on the pretext that we have too much of it. America has within its grasp to become a nation of educated people with almost all having high school education, most havii^ postsecondary education in college or vocational sdiools, and a substantial minority having advanced study. Two questions arise: (1) Can a population of this kind be employed? (2) Who wUl be available for, and psychologically conditioned to, the dirty, menial, monotonous jobs? The basic answer to the question: Can they be employed?, is that the economy adjusts to the manpower it has. Every economy learns to use its particular mix of manpower. If it cannot get people to do repetitive assemUy-line jobs, incentives are created to automate these jobs or change them. I look with favor on a future society in which everyone u educated to the limit of his abilities and interests, in which the connection betweoi education and jobs Is recognized to be the loose and flexible one it really is, in which there will be relatively few menial jobs, in which the range of compensation between white-collar and blue-collar jobs will be greatly narrowed, and ift which blue-collar work will gain increav ing respect as well as compensation. On the matter of narrowing the spread of compensation, some people are shocked that a truck driver, or fruit picker, or garbage collector, may make more money than a teacher or lawyer. 1 see nothing wrong in this. In fact, I have always thought it wrong that those who do the back-breaking, monotonous, toilsome jobs of society receive the least compensation, the least personal security, and the least recognition, while those of us who do the interesting and comfortable work, and who have tenure and social status, receive the most compensation. Which of us would exchange with a garbage collector or a bus b<^ even with equal compensation? One of the greatest challenges facing every advanced industrial nation »to THBMAZMIMyCIUnrRX-i USTYEARITNADEALOTOFS0ISE. RIGHT NOW IT MAKES EVEN MORE. Last year we introduced the Mazda Rotary RX-3 to Canada. It was a stunning success. Obviously a lot of Canadians were waiting for a car like this. A car that could deliver performance efficiently. A car that was dej)endable and came loaded with standard equipment. This year, with the rising cost of fuel, inflation and the general tone of the times, the practical values of the RX*3 are even more desirable. COYSIMIl THE ADViNTiGESOFTHEMAZM ROTARY ENGINE. P()U LRTl L The Mazda Rotary engine can develop atmMl twice as much horsepower per pound as a phton eniiine of equal »ze. At 60 mph it seems to accelerate as much ax it doex at 30 mph. SMOOTHi QUIET. The Mazda Rotary* engme has no pail's nibbing up and down af>ainst each other. It fooihh’ "minnimnutimnwinimmminnmis'' ahufi. DLPL \l) iBLE, Every Mazda    has a siron;^ 24MK) mite or 24 month etiaine wan ant vf. That's twice the warranty of mo's/ pnfon enf’ine cars. tfUCIEST The Ma^da Rotaiy engine manai^es to combine this excifinfi performance with ptacdcal }>ai' mileage. COSSHÆR iii THLSTA M) \Rl} I:QVIPME,\T0\ THE RX-.i Practically everythtuj’ von d wani is standard on the RX-.l. Recüninfi front budget seatK. Radial tires. Rear wmdow defroster. Powei assisted front dir.c brake\. Tachameter. Amnietei. Centre con.uile. Clock. So much i.v standard thaï tUc hst of o/j/îoîiv i% hardty ereu a Ust. BasicaHy it con,\ist'i nf a radio and an autamatic ttawanission    ' *L(Cense NSu/wanK«) titetfi #*rr*nt$    Mach «tMl fftrwl la bt h«* of    with iwmI n« «nd iminurwnM, f#r i«n rriis w 24 000 mil«& wtiKiwf« «cmt* iirit Mviii    rbi r*H o1 ih« _w aw y*<i OT ».QOQ milM. wtmrhwff «xm% A<! of îh< Hiwii ùf thu wwtwrty mn cM*hr m if» M*nti Mfrwiÿ MAW «fri intt tM bv iny Juih«n»fl Mitfdv m Ctnidi Pro Motors Ltd. 1520 - 2nd Avenue South: 328-8117 learn how to operate an economy with « highly educated labor force and without a large cadre of ig> norant and docile wwken. To conclude, my talk does not lead to very practical answers to the questions that are agitating id) of Ufher education and etpecially graduate schools. 1 have tried to show tiiat the arguments concerning education and the labor maiket are mostly spurious, and that better outcomes both for the economy and for the society would derive from free choices of students than from planning based-manpower goals. My position rests <hi certain philosofrftical grounds. Like so many .fiuestions in higher education, the issues are ultimately matters of value. I believe that the freedom to choose one’s line of study and to choose one’s vocation -allowing for erne’s personal talents and interests and market opportunities — is perhaps the most sacred of all freedoms. And I believe that if students are willing to give their time and effort and to forego income for education, society should do no less than to provide the institutional setting and facilities. And if students of limited resources cannot meet their living costs while studying, provisions should be made through a combination of grants, loans, and work that do not result i» heavy lifelong ind^tedness. I also believe that these choices should not be influenced by different tuitions for different levels and programs of study. With freedom of entry into alt fields and levels, without reference to cost, the supply of persons entering various occupaUons and professions would be reasonably adjusted to demand, and differences in remuneration would be lessened. This kind of freedom of choice would in a generation or two overcome the protected monopoly position held by those privileged groups for whom higher education has been reserved. I also believe that the manpower theory of educational planning is tosed on a grand fallacy that permeates our culture. This is wbat I call the input-output or the meahs-ends fallacy. We tend to think of our world as beii% divided into inputs, primarily in the form of effort or work, and outputs, primarily in the form of economic goods and services. We forget that the so-called inputs are as much a part of our lives as the outputs. The inputs in the form of work and other aspects of our existence can be painful and costly in human terms; they can also be interesting, rewarding, and even exhilarating. Similarly, the p-itputa in the form of consumer goods and various life experiences can be stultifying and debilitating; or they can be constnicUve and gratifying. Life is simply not divisible into neat categories of inputs and outputs. The object is a good life as a whole including both the activities and experiences called inputs and the activities and experiences called outputs. It may be quite legitimate for people to choose vocations and styles of work that are personally rewarding even if not as productive, in the sense of adding to GNP, as other kinds of employment. This point tends to be lost on those who think of education as producing manpower which should be deployed to maximize the dollar value of output. perhaps my most far-reaching conclusion is that education is not designed to prepare people to do whatever work flows from the blind and predestined imperative of technology; rather it is intended to educate people of vision and sensitivity, who will have the motives to direct technology into humanly constructive channels. Our society clearly needs to conquer poverty, achieve racial Justice, renew our cities, restore order, improve health and education, renew the environment, develop the arts, keep the peace, restrain world population growth, and aid developing nations. These tasks will require great cadres of dedicated and professionally competent persons. They will stretch our resources in educated, sensitive, insightful people. Education is still our main hope for coping with these problems. The limits of education have by no means been reached. Hidden meaningê 4 tound mind it like a strong bridge: it is an orderly arrangement of thoughtt supported by crossbeams of firm principle. Religious studies meaningful By Louis Burke, local writer Religious studies is more meaningful in education today than any other subject on the present curriculum. It does not deal with a skiU, but it concerns attitodes which are close to the soul. No other subject comes even close to that in many ways. Secular subjects helps to develop skills, but religious studies deals in souls, and a soul-commitment is an element lacking in today’s society. For this one reason, the businessman employing a young person for the first time should take a good, long look at the final mark in religious studies, if the student has such a mark to show. A final maA in mathematìcs, science, English, or any of the other subjects will help to establish a skill-level reached, or not arrived at, as the case may be. It will, however, provide the employer with little or nothing about the person being interviewed. The businessman is left to find out; perhaps the hard way. But a final standing in religious studies will provide much data about the person, if the employer knows what such a mark means. Today’s society has reached a low level of religious and moral conviction, as our news media daily reveals. This taints attitudes all along the way; students and nearly all people, nationwide, have become victims. Thus, one mi^t describe today’s society as amoral, ha^g slipped from a moral to an immoral to an amoral plain in the last fifty years or so. How does this rub off on religious studies? A student with a low mark in that area, provided he or she is not mentally weak, has drifted with the moral tide — irresponsible, amoral and aU the rest. In most cases, all things being equal, such students are poor risks. Of course, there are exceptions and all that, but. . . The young person, on the oQier band, with a good final standing in religious studies has much in his favor as a real person. He has fought the trend of his peers and has shrugged off considerable pressure generated by the peer group and even that generated by mass media pollution in the field of modem morals. He is a sincere, responsible and independent Individual. He is not, of course, a saint, but he is a good risk, usually. Educators everywhere dithered for years over this subject. They have been most irresponsible where they ought to have been responsible. Fear kept them from doing what was their duty. Businessmen, in the light of wbat they call history, have ignored religious studies as a viable entity worthy of study in schods. It was shunted out of the way while attitudes changed and young people by the million slipped down the moral drain. Religious studies is far from a second-class Cinderella school subject. It is, in fact, most significant where personal growth is involved. It, surely, has a great role to perform in any school, anywhere.    - Nature’s relaxed opportunist By Helen Schuler, local writer The name “skunk” has developed a very unfavorable connotation in our vocabulary. Calling a person a skunk is to call him shifty, treacherous, mean and under-handed. The old westerns developed the epithet to a fine art, as “you low-down, dirty skunk." Reality, of course, is somewhat a different story. The skunk is an easy-going, amiable, non-aggressive creature — who minds his own business — and expects everyone else to do the same. On the other hand — he shares some of our human characteristics. He is an opportunist, meeting his living requirements with the least possible effort. If in his search for food, a kindly fate places a nest or a sleeping bird in his path — he accepts it as a welcome supplement to regular diet of insects, frogs, mice, grubs, etc. And of course, if he hits an easily accessible hen house, his reaction is the same as a human striking a gold mine. The skunk is a bit of a character. He is very much aware of his arsenal, and never hastens -knowing full well that if any aggressor doesn’t know about his unique protective device by now, he soon will and it will be a lesson hard-learned. So he goes hi? leisurely way. One mother anu her family of four pretty kits kept me waiting for a quarter of an hour one dark night on a back country road. I came upon them ambling single file down the road in true sk^unk fashioii — unconcerned — sublimely certain that this huge monster with the big blinding eyes, would be aware of who they were and would not dispute the right of way. How right they were! And since you do not herd skunks off the road, I resigned myself to awaiting their pleasure. And wait I did. Even flipping the headlights fazed them not one whit. They are fearless even at a young age. We cante across a young one along the road one day and stopped to admire his handsome markings. That little joker wasn’t taking anything from any, mechanical mon' ster and* tiny as he was, he stamped his feet and aimed his business end at us — abaOlutely certain we wouk] heed the waminf. And of courae we did. Even a smalt idtunk packs a wallop. I had assured a friend once; that below a certain age, skunks don’t have scent. She trustingly told her sister, who, taking her at her word, let her children bring in a little skunk they had found. Things went very well — until the skunk got under &e refrigerator and they tried to poke him out with a broom. The results were disastrous. 1 wonder just how old that skunk was? Skunks being such interesting creatures, they make encounters with others who are interesting too. I heard recently of a young fellow who was all cleaned up, ready to go courting, when he heard the dog making a row outside. He ran out and found a skunk. Both the skunk and the young lad let fly at the same time — the boy with a pitchfork and the skunk with the usual. The skunk was deadly accurate. The stricken target had seen dogs rolling in the dirt after they had encountered skunks, so he headed for the summerfallow for the same treatment. Apparently it was effective and his girl was none the wiser. The sight of this half clad human rolling and rooting around in the dirt must have been indeed something for the skunk to pass on to his grandchildren. The skunk is officially listed in Alberta as a nuisance animal. Due to a concern over rabies present in skunks in Saskatchewan, a buffer zone has been established between Saskatchewan and Alberta, and west of this buffer zone, incidence of rabies in .skunks is less than one per cent. He is in bad repute with the farmer because he can create havoc in the hen house and with the farmer’s wife because whenever the family dog encounters a skunk - and they never learn - he comes home and sprawls in front of the door, allowing pungent evid«tce of his latest adventure to permeate the whtde bouse. The sportaman is down on him because he occasionally will make a m«a) of a sleeping 3ame bird or it’s egp, thus stealing wbat a lunter regards as his particular prey. In ihort, no one has much good to say about a ikunk. Yet he has his particular niche in the Kheme of things. — elimination of this inique inimal would break one mwc strand in the mb and we woukl ail be the poorer. ;