McLuhan on "The Future of Education: The Class of 1989"

This vintage McLuhan article was originally published in the now-defunct magazine, LOOK (sort of like Life magazine). With predictions of the end of the school and the university still being widely circulated today, it is well worth a (re)read. There are many startling statements and predictions that can be read in different ways. But one of the most astonishing things is the similarity of many arguments made by McLuhan in 1967 to those still made today, 42 years later:

  • that schools are as outmoded as the mass production model on which they are based; and that forms of “mass customization” promise a radically different educational approach
  • that “the demands, the very nature of this age of new technology and pervasive electric circuitry… will [unavoidably] shape education’s future”
  • that “the walls between school and world will continue to blur”
  • that “Future educators will value, not fear, fresh approaches, new solutions.”

Are McLuhan’s statements prescient, premature, preposterous, or all of the above? What does this say about current predictions? Decide for yourself. Being a part of the (BA[hons]) class of 1989 myself, I found it fascinating.

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