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[3-28]英语话题评论:大学学什么才能不被计算机淘汰

        Computers and robots are already replacing many workers. What can young people learn now that won’t be superseded within their lifetimes by these devices and that will secure them good jobs and solid income over the next 20, 30 or 50 years? In the universities, we are struggling to answer that question.
        计算机和机器人已经在取代许多人类职工。年轻人如今学些什么才不会在有生之年被这些设备所替代,确保自己在未来20年、30年乃至50年都有不错的工作和稳定的收入?在大学里,我们都在苦苦思索这个问题的答案。


        Most people complete the majority of their formal education by their early 20s and expect to draw on it for the better part of a century. But a computer can learn in seconds most of the factual information that people get in high school and college, and there will be a great many generations of new computers and robots, improving at an exponential rate, before one long human lifetime has passed.
        多数人在20岁出头的年龄就会完成大部分的正规教育,并指望在未来50多年里依靠它来谋生。然而,计算机可以在几秒钟内学会人们在高中和大学获得的全部事实信息。在一个人漫长的生命结束之前,还将涌现出一代代新的计算机和机器人,而且它们会以指数增长的速度进步。



        Two strains of thought seem to dominate the effort to deal with this problem. The first is that we teachers should define and provide to our students a certain kind of general, flexible, insight-bearing human learning that, we hope, cannot be replaced by computers. The second is that we need to make education more business-oriented, teaching about the real world and enabling a creative entrepreneurial process that, presumably, computers cannot duplicate. These two ideas are not necessarily in conflict.
        应对这一问题的努力似乎由两种思路主导。第一种思路是,我们教师必须定义一种广泛、灵活、有洞见的人类学习体验,并把它提供给我们的学生,同时希望它不会被计算机取代。第二种思路是,我们需要让教育更加以商业为导向,让学生认识真实的世界,实现一种计算机大概无法复制的创新的创业过程。这两种想法并不一定矛盾。



        Some scholars are trying to discern what kinds of learning have survived technological replacement better than others. Richard J. Murnane and Frank Levy in their book “The New Division of Labor” (Princeton, 2004) studied occupations that expanded during the information revolution of the recent past. They included jobs like service manager at an auto dealership, as opposed to jobs that have declined, like telephone operator.
        一些学者正在试图弄清哪些类型的学习被技术进步取代的程度更小。理查德·J·莫尼恩(Richard J Murnane)和弗兰克·利维(Frank Levy)在他们合写的《新的分工》(The New Division of Labor,由普林斯顿大学出版社于2004年出版)一书中,研究了近期历史上在信息革命中出现扩张的职业。这其中包括汽车经销商的服务经理。相比之下,另外一些工作岗位则在减少,比如接线员。



        The successful occupations, by this measure, shared certain characteristics: People who practiced them needed complex communication skills and expert knowledge. Such skills included an ability to convey “not just information but a particular interpretation of information.” They said that expert knowledge was broad, deep and practical, allowing the solution of “uncharted problems.”
        这种标准下的成功职业有一些共同特点:从业者需要复杂的沟通技巧和专业学识。此类技能传递的“不光是信息,还有对信息的特定解读。”两人认为,专业知识要广泛、深入、实用,能够解决“未知的问题”。



        These attributes may not be as beneficial in the future. But the study certainly suggests that a college education needs to be broad and general, and not defined primarily by the traditional structure of separate departments staffed by professors who want, most of all, to be at the forefront of their own narrow disciplines. But this old departmental structure is still fundamental at universities, and it is hard to change.
        这些特点未来或许不会带来同样的优势。不过,这项研究无疑告诉我们,大学教育需要广博和宽泛,不应该主要由院系的传统结构来框定。这些院系各行其是,里面的教授多数想要成为各自狭窄学科的翘楚。但这种旧的院系结构仍然在大学根深蒂固,很难改变。



        Consider the controversy at Harvard College over the Program in General Education, whose antecedents date to 1946. The program requires Harvard undergraduates to take courses devised to prepare them for a broad range of issues in life after college. But critics have said that the program is not succeeding, and that many professors who participate in it teach only their own department’s scholarly material, without attention to wider aims.
        来看看哈佛大学对通识教育的争议吧。这个项目的前身可以追溯到1946年。它要求哈佛的本科生学习一些量身打造的课程,从而为毕业后人生中碰到的各种问题做好准备。然而,持批评态度的人认为,该项目并不成功,许多参与其中的老师仅教授自己院系的学术内容,忽视了这些更大的目标。



        Prof. Louis Menand of Harvard, in a May 5 statement, argued that an education focused on narrow academic disciplines was inadequate: “Less than 20 percent of our students go on to get Ph.D.s,” he said. Many students end up in the business world, broadly construed, not in academia.
        哈佛大学教授路易·梅南(Louis Menand)在5月5号发表的一篇文章中宣称,专注于狭隘学术领域的教育是不够的:“我们的学生中只有不到20%会去读博士,”他说。许多学生最终进入广义上的商业领域,而不是学术界。



        In a separate May 5 statement, Prof. Sean D. Kelly, chairman of the General Education Review Committee, said a Harvard education should give students “an art of living in the world.”
        在同样于5月5日发表的另一篇文章中,通识教育评审委员会(General Education Review Committee)主席、肖恩·D·凯利(Sean D Kelly)教授提出,哈佛的教育应该传授给学生“当下世界的生存之道”。



        But how should professors do this? Perhaps we should prepare students for entrepreneurial opportunities suggested by our own disciplines. Even departments entirely divorced from business could do this by suggesting enterprises, nonprofits and activities in which students can later use their specialized knowledge.
        不过,教授们应该怎样做到这一点?也许我们应该让学生为我们自身学科的创业机会做好准备。即使有些院系完全与商业无关,也可以做到这一点,方法就是推荐一些合适的企业、非营利组织及活动,让学生未来可以在这些地方利用自己的专业知识。



        Many of these issues have arisen in my own academic life. My teaching has changed over the decades. I try to make it more useful in confronting issues of creativity and morality in the work world.
        在我本人的学术生涯中,遇到过这里的许多问题。我的教学在几十年里不断变化。我希望自己的课程能更加有助于学生应对职场上有关创造力和道德原则的各种问题。


        When I arrived at Yale in 1982, there were no undergraduate courses in finance. I started one in the fall of 1985, and it continues today. Increasingly, I’ve tried to connect mathematical theory to actual applications in finance.
        当我1982年来到耶鲁的时候,这里并没有金融学方面的本科课程。我在1985年创办了一个,并让它延续至今。随着时间的推移,我越来越多地尝试将数学理论融合到金融的实际应用领域。
        Since its beginnings, the course has gradually become more robotic: It resembles a real, dynamic, teaching experience, but in execution, much of it is prerecorded, and exercises and examinations are computerized. Students can take it without need of my physical presence. Yale made my course available to the broader public on free online sites: AllLearn in 2002, Open Yale in 2008 and 2011, and now on Coursera.
        开设之后,这门课逐渐变得越来越自动化:它与动态的真实教学体验一样,但在执行层面上,许多部分是预先录制的,而课堂练习和考试则在电脑上进行。无需我本人亲自到场,学生就能学习这门课。耶鲁还通过免费的网站把我的课开放给大众:2002年放到了AllLearn上,2008年和2011年放到了Open Yale上,目前则在Coursera上。
        The process of tweaking and improving the course to fit better in a digital framework has given me time to reflect about what I am doing for my students. I could just retire now and let them watch my lectures and use the rest of the digitized material. But I find myself thinking that I should be doing something more for them.
        为了更好地适应电子教学而对这门课程进行调整与改进的过程,给了我时间来反思自己为学生做了些什么。我可以现在就退休,让他们观看我的讲课录像,使用其他的数字资料。但我忍不住想,自己应该为他们再多做些事情。
        So I continue to update the course, thinking about how I can integrate its lessons into an “art of living in the world.” I have tried to enhance my students’ sense that finance should be the art of financing important human activities, of getting people (and robots someday) working together to accomplish things that we really want done.

        因此我在不断地更新这门课程,思考怎样才能将其中的教学内容融入“当下世界的生存之道”当中。我努力强化学生的概念,让他们认识到金融应当是为重要的人类活动融资的艺术,是让人们(将来还有机器人)携手完成我们愿望的艺术。
        Like Harvard and other colleges and universities, Yale has been struggling with the broad issues for a very long time. It once experimented with an undergraduate business program, to prepare students for life beyond college, but shut down that program in 1954. In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, antipathy to the business establishment increased. According to the former Yale Graduate School dean John Perry Miller, in his book “Creating Academic Settings” (J. Simeon Press, 1991), there was open “hostility” to the idea of business-oriented education at Yale.
        与哈佛等院校一样,耶鲁在这个大问题上挣扎了很长一段时间。它曾经尝试开设本科生的商学专业,希望让学生为毕业之后的人生做好准备,但1954年的时候停止了尝试。上世纪60年代的越战期间,人们对商业权贵阶层的厌恶之情有所加剧。曾任耶鲁大学研究生院院长的约翰·佩里·米勒(John Perry Miller)在他的著作《创造学术环境》(Creating Academic Settings,由J·西蒙出版社[J. Simeon Press]于1991年推出)中指出,当时的耶鲁存在对以商学为导向的教育理念的公开“敌意”。
        Nonetheless, Yale produced many fine businesspeople. But because of this hostility, Yale did not start a business school until 1976, and even then denied that it was just a business school: Instead of offering a Master of Business Administration, it initially conferred only the more idealistic-sounding Master of Public and Private Management. Before 1976, the university had a great economics department, imbued with a lofty sense of pure theory and mathematics, but it was not focused on practical business education.
        尽管如此,耶鲁培养出了许多出色的商人。然而,由于这样的敌意,耶鲁直到1976年才开设了商学院,而且就算到了那个时候也否认它是一所纯粹的商学院:开始的时候,它并未开设工商管理硕士课程,而是仅授予听起来更具理想主义气息的公共与私人管理硕士学位。1976年之前,耶鲁已经拥有了一个不错的经济学系。它沉浸在高远的纯理论与数学的氛围之中,但并未关注务实的商学教育。


        The developing redefinition of higher education should provide benefits that will continue for decades into the future. We will have to adapt as information technology advances. At the same time, we must continually re-evaluate what is inherently different between human and computer learning, and what is practical and useful to students for the long haul. And we will have to face the reality that the “art of living in the world” requires at least some elements of a business education.
        对高等教育的定义正在进行的调整,应当提供能惠及未来数十载的益处。我们不得不适应信息技术的进步。与此同时,我们必须不断评估,人类与计算机学习之间的本质区别究竟在哪里,而对学生而言,长期看来什么才是最实际和有用的。我们也不得不面对一个现实:“当下世界的生存之道”至少需要商学教育的一些元素。

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