An article, quote, or citation of interest to heritage teachers

Understanding 1910 is key to understanding today, according to William Draves

Nine Shift

“I’m not a futurist. I only describe the present to the 98% of people who are not there yet.”
Richard Thieme, technology expert

In 1910, the world was shifting from an agrarian society to an industrial society. Today, the world is shifting from an industrial society to an internet society. The parallels between these seismic shifts in the way society functions are not just interesting sidelights; they provide important insight into what is happening and what we should anctipate. In Nine Shift, William Draves points out:

In just twenty years, between 2000 and 2020, some 75% of our lives will change dramatically. We know this because it happened once before. Between 1900 and 1920, life changed. We moved from an agrarian farming way of life to an industrialized way of life. Now it is all happening again.

The way we work is changing. The way we live is changing. The way we learn is changing.

. . .The last time we experienced this nine shift in society was between 1900 and 1920. The driving force of the last century, the 20th century, was the automobile. The automobile and the way the automobile was made — the mass production factory — shaped how people worked, how people lived, and how they learned, for the last 100 years. The auto is not a symbol for the 20th century. Instead, the car and the car factory literally changed most of life.

So many common features of life today would not have been widely present without the car. They include offices, suburbs, fast food restaurants, company organization charts, unified school districts, and many more aspects of life that are considered “standard” today.

People in society are so dependent on the car that to do without one for a week would be an enormous burden for the majority of us. We simply have no readily implementable back-up plan to working and living without a car, even for a week.

The car shaped and defined the 20th century.

. . .[Now] the Internet is behaving exactly the same way as the automobile did 100 years ago in its impact on society. The auto is not used here as an “analogy,” which is defined as something “somewhat similar.” Instead the influence of the Internet on our lives is exactly a replay, a mirror, of the influence of the auto on society 100 years ago. The outcomes will be different of course, but the forces and how those forces interact and change our lives, are the same.

. . .Most all of the fundamental changes in our society in this century will take place before 2020. We know this because most all of the fundamental changes in 20th century society took place between 1900 and 1920.

Draves compares key years in the transition from 1890 to 1920 with what has already happened and with what is likely to happen:

1990-2000 and 1890-1900: Technology first introduced. Intellectual excitement and creativity.

2000-2005 and 1900-1905: New way grows; old way becomes dysfunctional, but is still dominant.

2005-2010 and 1900-1910: Conflict and chaos as the new way challenges the old way.

2008-2012 and 1908-1912: Turning point in society.

2010-2020 and 1910-1920: Old way gives way to new way.

2020 and 1920: New way is clearly dominant and accepted. The old way is clearly in decline.

He examines key trends--changes that are already occurring and will likely accelerate:

Commuting to an office become a rarity, a thing of the past. A significant part of the workforce will work from home or telecommute.

Intranets replace offices. Offices will diminish as primary work places. Intranets will replace physical offices for most businesses, companies and nonprofit organizations.

Suburbs, and suburban sprawl, come to a halt and then recede. Towns and cities are reformulated around dense communities composed of shops, stores and homes.

New values, work ethics and behavior of the 21st century take over. Boys are leading the change in values and behavior, just as they did 100 years ago.

[Draves and Coates say boys dropped out of school in huge numbers in the first two decades of the 20th century. Yet it was young men, experimenting with technology, who led America’s manufacturing boom, especially in the automobile industry.

They say something similar is happening today: boys are into the internet and computers. They like to innovate and experiment. They “like taking risks, being entrepreneurial, being collaborative - all behaviours that lead to success in the workforce today”.

But while they are rewarded for their behaviour in the workplace, they are punished in school because they are non-conformist, poor at listening and following instructions, and restless.]

Half of all learning is online. The traditional classroom rapidly becomes obsolete. Education becomes web-based. Brick and mortar schools and colleges of the past century become outdated. All education becomes web-based, providing a better education for both young people and adults.

Audio presentation by William Draves (5 minutes)
PDF of Draves’ workshop presentation

(Hat tip: Bill Edelman)

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 01/17 at 03:12 PM
(0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
2005 Montana Heritage Project

Montana Folks: researching and profiling unique Montanans

I’ve been reading Montana Folks, a new book by Durrae and John Johanek. It includes black and white environmental portraits and 1000-word profiles on 59 Montanans. “The authors sought out those people who are uniquely Montanan, so there’s a third-generation sheepshearer from Reedpoint, a retired road worker who’s job it was to clear the snow off the high-altitude Beartooth Highway, a Missoula-based mushroom hunter and, of course, a grizzly bear expert.”

High school students could do this sort of work: interviews and photographs of Montanans. It seems a good way of interpreting and documenting local culture, encouraging young people to seek out and pay attention to people worth seeking out and paying attention to.  I would love to see a collection of such profiles on this website.

We’ll develop a rubric for writing profiles. If you want a presentation to your students on doing such research and writing, done by me or Katherine or both, let us know. If you are interested in having students do this sort of work, it would be a good idea to have a copy of the book in your classroom as an inspiration and model. Let us know if you want us to order you a copy from Amazon.

Here are tips prepared by Katherine on writing a research-based feature article.

The Johaneks themselves could fit one of the profiles of their book. The couple moved to Bozeman 13 years ago from Pennsylvania, although John is originally from Wisconsin—the giant cheese wedge on his TV testifies to that fact.

A magazine design consultant, he is also a collector of children’s books from the early part of the 20th century, many of which he keeps shelved in his living room. He also boasts an impressive collection of all things 3-D—holograms, 3-D movie posters, stereo-viewers, View Masters, even 3-D cereal boxes.

Durrae is an editorial freelancer who has written articles for Bird Watcher’s Digest and Popular Mechanics. The couple collaborated on a previous book, “Montana Behind the Scenes,” a backroads guide to some of the state’s lesser known but still interesting attractions.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 12/19 at 02:12 PM
(0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
2004 Montana Heritage Project

Fifth Annual Festival of the Book in Missoula

Several authors talked about books that seem worth reading for heritage teachers, either for their own growth or as possible texts to use with students.

Jeanette Ingold has published several young adult novels that focus on Montana’s past. The Big Burn follows a sixteen year old protagonist through the excitement and challenges of the 1910 fires in Idaho and Montana. Mountain Solo is the story of a sixteen-year-old girl who is a musical virtuoso but leaves New York to join her father in Montana. “To be a writer you have to be a reader,” Jeanette said. “Some place inside me I have the voices of hundreds or thousands of writers who taught me what language sounds like when it is used well.” Her advice to young writers: “Write lots and lots. Then look for those sentences that stand out as good and true.”

Marcus Stevens says that “history is a point of view—an act of imagination as much as fiction is.” He is the author of Useful Girl, the story of a high school girl in Billings whose life is changed when she discovers the 127-year-old remains of a nine-year-old Cheyenne girl. This is his second novel. His first, The Curve of the World was published in 2002. He lives in Belgrade. “A great way to avoid writing is to keep researching,” he said.

Frank Allen is president and director of the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources, which takes journalists on expeditions to places facing environmental challenges, so they can meet people, experience places, and deepen their understanding of the nature and pace of the changes occurring in the American West. He’s been a journalist for twenty-five years, fourteen of which were as an editor at the Wall Street Journal. He was the WSJ‘s first environment editor. The IJNR has published Matching the Scenery: Journalism’s Duty to the American West. “We protect what we love,” he said. “And we love what we understand.”

According to Allen, people in the west need “a deeper shared understanding” of the place they live, including knowledge of the “roots, histories, patterns and themes” that shape life here. “They also need a greater appreciation of important changes that are under way—and to the contexts, consequences and implications of these changes. Western newsrooms are public trusts that have a responsibility to meet these needs.”

Except that his target audience is journalists rather than high school students, the IJNR would seem to have much in common with the Heritage Project.

Heritage Project teachers (either affiliates or members of demonstration site teams) who would like to review any of the books listed above, please let us know. We will provide a copy of the book and pay $50 for the finished review (500-1000 words). Write for other teachers, letting them know what is useful or not useful about the book as it pertains to their professional practice.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 10/01 at 02:59 PM
(1) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
2004 Montana Heritage Project
« First  <  2 3 4