Journal of Technology Education


JTE Editor: Mark Sanders

Volume 2, Number 1
Fall 1990


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          NAISBITT, J., & ABURDENE, P.  (1990).  MEGA-
          TRENDS 2000:  TEN NEW DIRECTIONS FOR THE
          1990'S.  NEW YORK: WILLIAM MORROW AND COM-
          PANY, INC., $21.95 (HARDCOVER), 384 PP. (ISBN
          0-688-07224-0)
 
                   Reviewed by Daniel A. Levy
 
               John Naisbitt & Patricia Aburdene offer
          prophecies regarding the nature of contempo-
          rary society in MEGATRENDS 2000:  TEN NEW DI-
          RECTIONS FOR THE 1990'S.  Naisbitt and
          Aburdene are well known for their earlier
          work, MEGATRENDS, in which they accurately
          described trends of the 1980s.  Many are tak-
          ing a close look at MEGATRENDS 2000; as of
          July 1990, it had been on the NEW YORK TIMES
          Best Sellers list for twenty-five weeks.  In
          addition to the book's broad appeal, educa-
          tors in technology education may find it
          helps clarify important directions for the
          field.
               It may be foolhardy to predict the im-
          pact of events across a ten year period, but
          Naisbitt and Aburdene are looking at trends
          which are already occurring.  They do not
          dwell on negatives.  In their introduction,
          they credit those who report on crime, drugs,
          AIDS, deficits, and other crises as doing
          their jobs.  Doomsayers will be let down; the
          authors do not see the world coming to an
          end.  Their mission, as they see it, is to
          "point out information and circumstances that
          describe the world trends leading to opportu-
          nities."  They may be proven wrong in their
          overly positive view, but they have provided
          a context within which to view world events.
          They suggest that without such a frame of
          reference we tend to miss much information.
               If you fear you may already be missing
          out on a major trend, I will not keep you in
          suspense.  The ten trends, listed by chapter
          titles, are The Global Economic Boom of the
          1990's, Renaissance in the Arts, The Emer-
          gence of Free-Market Socialism, Global Life-
          styles and Cultural Nationalism, The
          Privatization of the Welfare State, The Rise
          of the Pacific Rim, The 1990's:  Decade of
          Women in Leadership, The Age of Biology, Re-
          ligious Revival of the Third Millenium, and
          Triumph of the Individual.  These chapters
          are the body of the book, surrounded by in-
          troductory and concluding chapters, extensive
          endnotes, and an index.
               The first chapter, "The Global Economic
          Boom...," describes, in part, the information
          economy, its creation of high-paying, chal-
          lenging jobs, and the lack of enough ade-
          quately trained workers in the U.S. to fill
          those jobs.  According to Naisbitt and
          Aburdene, "There are not nearly enough people
          with college degrees or advanced vocational
          and technical training to fill the more than
          2 million new managerial, administrative, and
          technical jobs coming on-line annually."  If
          our mission in education is not yet clear,
          consider also their emphasis on retraining:
          we must upgrade the skills of 120 million
          people in the U.S. work force today.
               The importance of education is empha-
          sized again in the chapter on the rise of the
          Pacific Rim, when Naisbitt and Aburdene em-
          phasize the positive correlation between im-
          provement in education and global
          competitiveness.  Other trends are equally
          important in technology education, including
          management and leadership trends, and new
          roles for women.  MEGATRENDS 2000 emphasizes
          the impact of the arts in the 90s, including
          a greater job growth rate than other pro-
          fessions.  It will become increasingly impor-
          tant for all undergraduates, and especially
          students in technical fields, to increase
          their study of the arts, humanities, and so-
          cial sciences.  Starting during the 1990s,
          Naisbitt and Aburdene claim, the arts will
          replace sports as our dominant leisure activ-
          ity.  Perhaps we have buried the last vestige
          of "art" in our field at a time when socie-
          ty's needs have come full circle.
               Anyone reading MEGATRENDS 2000 is likely
          to come away with a clearer, and no doubt
          more positive view of world events.  Although
          the authors back their general assertions
          with specific cases, you may be aware of
          studies which reach different conclusions.
          You may also see other trends which transcend
          those selected by the authors.  The important
          point, according to Naisbitt and Aburdene,
          "is to craft your own world view, your own
          personal set of megatrends."
 
 
          ----------------
          Daniel Levy is a Technology Teacher,
          Lansdowne Middle School and Chatsworth
          School, Baltimore County, Maryland.
 
 
          Permission is given to copy any
          article or graphic provided credit is given and
          the copies are not intended for sale.
 
Journal of Technology Education   Volume 2, Number 1       Fall 1990


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