Some Human and Social Capital Components That a Knowledge Society Requires

Prof Robert Slater
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This theoretical paper takes as its central problem the role of education in the knowledge society. What capacities, human and social, are necessary for a people to have if they are to contribute to their society’s economic development and to its nation-building? What kinds of elementary and secondary schools are most likely to give people these required capacities?

Five capacities or abilities, it is argued, are needed in particular. These five capacities are: 1) the capacity for inquiry or research, 2) the capacity for creativity, 3) the capacity to use high technology, 4) the capacity for entrepreneurial leadership, and 5) the capacity for moral leadership. These five capacities are not only essential for a knowledge society to develop but key if it is to develop at a rapid pace. The paper briefly explains and gives rationales for each capacity. The relevance to the Indian case is discussed.

Keywords: Theory of the knowledge society, Human capital for a knowledge society, Social capital for a knowledge society
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof Robert Slater

Professor, Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University

Robert Slater, a professor at Texas A&M University, does both theoretical and applied research on the question of what kind of schools and schooling are most likely to give people the qualities they need to contribute to economic development and nation-building in and for a knowledge society. Educated at Harvard and the University of Chicago, and a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Slater has developed the inquiry-creativity model of schooling and currently applies this model in the Brazos School for Inquiry & Creativity in Houston, Texas. In June, 2003, Dr. Slater met with President A.P.J Abdul Kalam to discuss his work. President Kalam subsequently incorporated Dr. Slater's 5-component model into many of his speeches on education. More information about the school and Dr. Slater can be found on the school's website at

Ref: T06P0192