During Milt Dougherty’s presentation at the 2009 MACE conference, attendees were challenged to move from Education 1.0 to Education 2.0. In 1892, the Committee of Ten studied the high school curriculum in relation to success in college, particularly Harvard. The curriculum recommended by this study is fundamentally the curriculum found in most high schools today. Not only do we organize our high schools around this 100 year old curriculum but it drives much of the testing dictated by NCLB. As society rapidly changes due to the influences of the information age and outsourcing of jobs, one needs to question when the educational system will be willing to make significant change. The following video may capture the challenge faced by those advocating change in education.
Just as the Internet has become web 2.0 to capitalize on globalization, education must also advance to incorporate the following types of skills:
- Focus on individual
- Career focused
- Global perspective
- Engaging / relevant to student’s world
- Personalized / customized
- Challenge to student / teacher
This type of change is demanded by the change in the job market during the past 50 years. In the 1950’s, 80% of the jobs called for unskilled labor. By 2000, 85% of the jobs called for skilled labor which requires training beyond high school. With the current economic situation, many people are losing their jobs. Job seekers are discovering that in order to get a new job, they need a skill set that is dramatically different. In order for students to prepare for this rapidly changing job market, education needs to get beyond the 1892 curriculum and focus on the skills that will help students be gainfully employed throughout their adult life. These skills include:
- Technical fluency
- Communication skills – Verbal Proficiency
- Collaboration skills — Leadership. Coordination, Teamwork, Interpersonal skills
- Problem solving skills – Ability to apply learning creatively to solve complex problems
- Analytical and Thinking skills
- Gumption — Self-direction and Reflection
- Initiative and Ambition
Unless we are willing to radically change education to incorporate this skill set, our students will be surpassed by students from China and India in the job market.
Are we willing to change?