Increases in Imbalances in Technological and Social Advances

For a half dozen centuries now, science offers useful laws for how things behave, that is, the hard sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and math. We know how to make water of one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen. We know about the laws of gravity. We know that 9 + 1 = 10. On the other hand, science offers conflicting models for how people behave. Thus, there are the soft sciences: psychology, management, education, and sociology. And there are the soft social systems, such as families, schools, and workplaces.

In our postmodern times, there is an even greater imbalance in our technological and social advances in instructional theory and methods in schools and workplaces. I group technological advances as those advances in our understanding of how things behave. Social advances are advances in our understanding of how people behave.

ONE REASON for the enormous imbalance is that we do not yet fully understand that Things, People and Outcomes have very different behavioral laws and predictability– as clarified in TPO Theory, (TPO refers to Things/People/Outcomes).  Otherwise stated, we are still struggling with the principles and applications of the old directive paradigm,  the new collaborative paradigm, and a unifying systems paradigm.

A SECOND REASON is captured in the figures below, using a scale metaphor. The first image below illustrates that many decades ago, institutions (e.g., schools, corporations, governments) were relatively balanced.

balanceThe next image below illustrates that, today, modern institutions (e.g., schools, corporations, governments) are experiencing a massive imbalance due greatly to amazing one-sided growth.

imbalanceIt is important to assert that the imbalance is not due to modern ignorance in the soft or social sciences. A great deal of knowledge is available regarding learning and performance theory, and a great many advances have been made. On the other hand, it is true that this large amount of knowledge is not adequately unified, but dispersed among a variety of fields or disciplines.

However, the imbalance is additionally due to the amazing gains that have been made in the last fifty years in technology. Today, modern institutions (e.g., schools, corporations, governments) are experiencing growing pains due greatly to amazing one-sided growth and a resulting massive imbalance.  These topics are developed more fully in my book, New Hope for Schools: Findings of a teacher turned detective  See also my website


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