It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing…
It’s impossible to have a debate on technology vs. liberal arts based education and not include in some way, Steve Jobs. The icon of the digital age, Jobs started the dialogue of how these two dynamic fields have an interdependent, yet static, relationship.
In a 1996 NPR interview with Terry Gross, Jobs detailed the origins of Apple, his mega successful legacy, and the importance of great ideas and employee cultivation for the growth of a strong company.
As a business leader, he recognized the benefit and necessity of critical thinking, thoughtful discussion - even dissension - to create a more robust flow of ideas. He was preaching a major tenet of liberal arts education.
"In my perspective … science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life.”
He believed that one must be used in harmony with the other. Reading, writing, critical thinking and debate is integral to conceptualizing massive computing systems, imagining new possibilities for advancement, and understanding what has been done in the past to build better models in the future.
Axelle Tessandier of The Next Web reiterates this sentiment in his article, "Mixing Liberal Arts and Technology for Success in Silicon Valley,"
“We need to revolutionize education to encourage creativity and need to teach our kids to play, take a chance and create. By not teaching our children liberal arts we will hinder their capacity to innovate. And this initiative and revolution is not just Silicon Valley’s responsibility but a universal one.”
So the question remains, how do we create the successful and long-lasting marriage Jobs envisioned?