NEIL POSTMAN (March 8, 1931 – October 5, 2003) was an American author, educator, media theorist and cultural critic , who is best known for his seventeen books, including Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), Conscientious Objections (1988), Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (1992), The Disappearance of Childhood (1994) and The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School (1995).
For more than forty years, he was associated with New York University . Postman was a humanist , who believed that "new technology can never substitute for human values". He died in 2003 of lung cancer .
* 1 Biography
* 2 Works
* 2.1 Technopoly
* 3 On education * 4 Selected bibliography * 5 References * 6 External links
Postman was born in New York City, where he would spend most of his life. In 1953, he graduated from State University of New York at Fredonia where he played basketball. At Teachers College, Columbia University he was awarded a master's degree in 1955 and an Ed.D (Doctor of Education) degree in 1958. In 1959, he began teaching at New York University (NYU).
In 1971, at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education (originally known as SEHNAP, School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions), he founded a graduate program in media ecology . He became the School of Education's only University Professor in 1993, and was chairman of the Department of Culture and Communication until 2002.
He died of lung cancer in Flushing, Queens , on October 5, 2003.
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Postman wrote 18 books and more than 200 magazine and newspaper
articles for such periodicals as
The New York Times
In his 1992 book Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology , Postman defines "Technopoly" as a society which believes "the primary, if not the only, goal of human labor and thought is efficiency, that technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgment ... and that the affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts."
Postman argues that the
In a 1996 interview, Postman re-emphasized his solution for technopoly, which was to give students an education in the history, social effects and psychological biases of technology, so they may become adults who "use technology rather than being used by it".
Postman was accused of Luddism , despite his statement in the conclusion of Amusing Ourselves to Death that "We must not delude ourselves with preposterous notions such as the straight Luddite position."
In 1969 and 1970 Postman collaborated with New Rochelle educator Alan Shapiro on the development of a model school based on the principles expressed in Teaching as a Subversive Activity. The result was the "Program for Inquiry, Involvement, and Independent Study" within New Rochelle High School . This "open school" experiment survived for 15 years, a In subsequent years many programs following these principles were developed in American high schools, current survivors include Walter Koral's Language class at the Village School in Great Neck, New York .
In a television interview conducted in 1995 on the MacNeil/Lehrer Hour Postman spoke about his opposition to the use of personal computers in schools. He felt that school was a place to learn together as a cohesive group and that it should not be used for individualized learning. Postman also worried that the personal computer was going to take away from individuals socializing as citizens and human beings.
* Television and the Teaching of English (1961).
* Linguistics: A Revolution in Teaching, with Charles Weingartner
(Dell Publishing, 1966).
* Teaching as a Subversive Activity , with Charles Weingartner
(Delacorte Press, 1969)
* "Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection" — speech given at
National Convention for the Teachers of English (1969)
* The Soft Revolution: A Student Handbook For Turning Schools
Around, with Charles Weingartner (Delacorte Press, 1971).
* The School Book: For People Who Want to Know What All the
Hollering is About, with Charles Weingartner (Delacorte Press, 1973).
* Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk: How We Defeat Ourselves By the Way We
* ^ A B "A teacher\'s life: Remembering Neil Postman".
* ^ A B C D E F Wolfgang Saxon: New York Times Obituary: Neil
Postman, October 9, 2003
* ^ "
Sunrise Semester begins 13th Season". Lakeland Ledger.
September 19, 1976. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
* ^ (Postman, 1992. p.51)
* ^ Howard P. Segal, "Review",
The Journal of American History