Tribal knowledge – to a reform in manufacturing education
Posted by Bert Maes on June 8, 2010
American writer and philosopher Will Durant once said ‘Education is the transmission of civilisation’. Of course, he was referring to education generally, rather than to technical education in particular. But, when one considers that the potential for civilisation only arose when mankind had mastered the use of tools, Durant’s observation hints at an even deeper truth: Using tools makes us human; teaching the young how to use tools is what makes us civilised.
Some of the oldest archaeological artifacts ever discovered are primitive flint tools, found in Africa’s Rift Valley, the geographical origin of all civilisations. The early humans who lived there and created such tools knew that the survival of their kind depended not only on using them effectively, but also on teaching their young how to use them. With each successive generation their tools improved and became more sophisticated. At the same time, the responsibility of the teacher also grew.
When we trace the progress of civilisation by the objects and the art that man has created we are also tracing the progress of teaching. All of mankind’s creative, scientific and engineering breakthroughs began with the transference of knowledge from educator to apprentice. We marvel at the ancient pyramids, for example, but we often forget that their creators were once students themselves who at one time looked to their teachers for guidance.
The Haas Technical Education Centre (HTEC) programme was conceived to help schools and colleges to nurture the next generation of CNC manufacturing technologists. An HTEC environment is designed to be stimulating and exciting and to give instructors the equipment and support they need to pass on their knowledge of what, by all accounts, is a fascinating engineering discipline.
Progress begins with learning and learning almost always begins with a teacher. In fact, it may have been more accurate if Will Durant had said that the teacher is the transmitter of civilisation.
If you choose to do be part of the HTEC network, you will give your students the tools and the opportunities that are theirs by right. Amongst the many thousands of young people who are currently learning, or will learn their trade in an HTEC, there may be a few who will one-day contribute directly to solving some of man’s most pressing problems. The majority will simply learn how to use a tool to make a living for themselves and for their families, which is no less noble and continues an ancient tradition.
MBMC – International Press & Publicity
For Haas Automation Europe, 2010