Text 2. Education Today

Broadly speaking, the two major functions in education are to transmit the culture, values and lessons of the past to the current gen­eration; and to prepare our children for the world in which they will live.

Modern, high-speed computers and telecommunications have fa­cilitated the rapid movement of financial resources goods and services and have created interdependence among the world's economies. To benefit from these markets, nations must be competitive, and to be com­petitive they must have a well-educated work force.

We are experiencing a scientific information explosion of un­precedented proportions. Today scientists and engineers use computers to access thousands of rapidly growing data bases that store numbers, words, maps, chemical and physical structures; and they search them millions of times a year. The base of scientific knowledge today is huge.

Rapid changes in many fields are making basic knowledge and skills obsolete. Knowledge is continually being modified and basic con­cepts and theories are being revised. New theories emerge as new dis­coveries offer new ways of looking at the data. Disciplines are merging and hyphenated sub-disciplines are being formed.

Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate, observed that the developments in science and information processing technologies have changed the meaning of the verb "to know". It used to mean "having information stored in one's memory". It now means the process of having access to information and knowing how to use it.

Exercise 18. Learn the following words and word combinations:

transmit the culture передавати культуру

current generation сучасне покоління

facilitate developments полегшувати зміни

create interdependence створювати взаємозалежність

benefit from отримувати зиск від

competitive конкурентоспроможний

unprecedented безпрецедентний

access/search data bases мати доступ до/ здійснювати пошук баз даних

store information зберігати інформацію

obsolete knowledge/skills застарілі знання/ навички

revise concepts переглядати концепції

Exercise 19. Answer the following questions.

1. What are the two major functions in education? 2. What has the use of modern, high-speed computers and telecommunications resulted in? 3. Why must nations be competitive? 4. What is the purpose of using computers by scientists and engineers today? 5. What is happening to basic knowledge and skills at present? 6. How has the meaning of the verb "to know" changed according to Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate?

Exercise 20. Read and translate text 3. Retell it in detail Use the words and phrases suggested in Ex. 18.

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