7b - Christine Hodgdon - Cuba

7b - Christine Hodgdon - Cuba - Christine Hodgdon MDS 302...

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Christine Hodgdon MDS 302 Influence of Science and Technology on Society in Cuba In “The Relation of Science and Technology to Human Values”, three main points of discussion are analyzed and in this paper they are applied to the Cuban society. The following paper outlines these points with specific examples and observations made on the field trip in March. “Scientific and technological advance can create options for public consideration.” According to McGinn, the meaning of a technology in the most general and all-encompassing sense is “a total societal enterprise comprised of knowledge, people, skills, organizations, facilities, physical resources, methods, and technologies that, taken together and in relationship to one another, are devoted to research, development, and the production of material artifacts produced by a person or society” (McGinn 14). Cuba’s educational system can be seen as a total societal unit comprised of people like teachers and students, skills like writing, speaking, and listening which facilitate the students in learning, facilities and physical resources like classrooms, desks, books, and pencils, methods like homework assignments or group activities that promote social interaction, and technologies like computers. Together this enterprise forms the foundation for an educational system and consequently a technology, devoted to a child‘s growth and development.
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In Cuba, the government provides a free education to everyone by financially compensating for the bulk of the expenses. Not only is attendance free for children, but the facilities and materials for a school are provided by the government as well. The government has also built many schools on the island all within miles of each other. I remember when we visited the elementary school our guide told us that another school was just walking distance down the road. He said “school coverage over the entire island allows children living in even the most remote places to attend school.” Another aspect of the educational system is that no private schools exist in Cuba and it is required that everyone receive an education. As a result, everyone has equal opportunities in receiving an education and the Cuban government ensures this right and obligation by providing families with the basic necessities of life; consequently creating the opportunity for children to attend school rather than working to earn an income. Much controversy exists about the structure of the educational system and its motives, but statistics show that “97% of the Cuban population is literate,” the highest percentage of any of the supposed “developing countries” and only a mere “1% short of the literacy rate of the United States” (CANF 2000). From a western perspective, the question arises how it is possible that the number of literate people can even compare to the number of literate people living in the U.S., a much stronger and more developed superpower. Perhaps the answer lies within the structure of the system. As mentioned
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2011 for the course STS 302 taught by Professor Nkriesbert during the Summer '08 term at N.C. State.

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7b - Christine Hodgdon - Cuba - Christine Hodgdon MDS 302...

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