Conference on Civic Education Research, Centre for Policy and Practice
Our natural human inclination to seek a moral understanding of the world is one of the oldest cultural narratives handed down since the beginning of recorded history. Much has been written on the ontic nature of moral absolutes and the rhetorical discourse of what makes a good citizen, but neither metaphysics nor politics has been totally prepared for the instantly ubiquitous nature of digital technology and its effect on societies in the contemporary age of the networked world. This paper reflects both a philosophical inquiry into the nature of technical systems through a set of anecdotal observations on civic engagement, moral education and service learning as historically practiced at Saint Mary's College of California. With digital culture making information instantly accessible, unlimitedly dense, and bereft of context, younger generations of learners are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate between information and knowledge and are easily lured into a reliance on technology to create meaning out of the hyper-mediation of contemporary society. Imbedded within this digital culture of instant gratification are innumerable problems for colleges and universities in terms of moral education, academic integrity, research reliability, and leadership formation in critical areas of civic engagement and social responsibility. This paper details the evolution of technical systems in the artes liberales, focusing in particular on the Cartesian cogito and its historical importance in the development of the age of enlightenment and the subsequent reverence for both the principles and practices of technocratic society and the consumer contrivances that represent the importance of technology in contemporary culture. The second part of this paper takes an anecdotal look at current pedagogical and curricular initiatives at Saint Mary's College of California to address the need for moral education and civic engagement in the first decades of the 21 st century. Short Overview This paper is a philosophical inquiry into the nature of technical systems through anecdotal observations on civic engagement, moral education and service learning as practiced at Saint Mary's College of California.
Tywoniak, Edward E., "Moral Education in the Digital Age" (2004). Special Topics, General. 117.
Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."