The Role of Education in Facilitating Adaptation to Technological Change: An Analytical Framework and Review of the Literature.

by Duran Bell, Tora K. Bikson, P. J. Rich, Joanne Wuchitech


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A study of the role of postsecondary education, especially continuing and adult education, in assisting individuals to adapt to changes in technology. The adaptation process is broadly conceived and shown relevant to all areas of social behavior. Two of the objectives were: (1) developing a formal theoretical framework to define the problem, and (2) exercising that framework in terms of the educational needs of several selected groups. The analytical framework may be characterized as a formal treatment of role-theoretic concepts in social psychology, using the welfare maximization techniques of microeconomic theory. Its usefulness was explored in terms of the problems of adaptation to technological change faced by engineers, physicians, married women, and the elderly. A review of the literature revealed that little research has been conducted on the nature of the adaptation problems of the various groups, the resources at their disposal, and the effectiveness of educational interventions. l08 pp. Ref.

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