Matchmaker. com: Sign up now for a free trial. Date Smarter!ModernEducation: Changing for the FutureDuring the past few decades we have seena shift from Industrial work to Information technology work. Recently ourcountry has just recovered from an economic depression. This depressionwas a “wake up call” for many people, as they saw highly educated professionalsloosing their jobs.
Why, were these educated people loosing their jobs?-Didthey break the rules, not get along with their bosses, or loose their cool?No, they did not have the flexibility, versatility, and cooperative skillsthat are needed in business for a changing economy. They were educatedin a time when liberal art educations, and individualized work skills weretaught at colleges. Layoffs were also due in part to the globilizationof the economy. Cheaper labor can be found in other countries, which resultsin the closing of American factories or a drastic cut in pay for workers. Corporate downsizing, atomization, and an aging population have also contributedto this change in the type of work available (Rifkin 177).
As most Americansused to be in the same economic bracket regardless of their line of work,today a worker’s real competitive position in the world economy dependson what kind of job they have (Jacobus 253). Education is the key to creatingthe worker’s demanded from businesses today. In aviation and other workplaces today,employers are not only looking for highly skilled workers, but for peoplewho are flexible, work well with others and have good problem solving skills. Colleges must implement new teaching approaches and offer specialized degreesnow, to prepare students for the needs of employers in the information-technologyage.
A workers must be flexible to be able to change and grow with theeconomy and the needs of employers is very important in today’s job market. “With corporate downsizing and restructuring so prevalent, employers aredemanding more of their employees. They must be more versatile and multi-taskoriented (Schmiedl 29). ” Employees must be able to move from one job toanother, and learn new tasks quickly. The more education they have theeasier it is to adapt to these changes (Carnoy 123).
Continuing educationis also becoming more prevalent for today’s workers. To stay at the topof their fields in knowledge and technology, employees must constantlybe up-dating their education (Schmiedl 29). Flexibility also ties in with the skillof working well with other people. To listen and interact with others inyour profession, you must be flexible or open minded to their opinions,ideas and insights.
Interaction with other employees and being a “peopleperson” enforces cooperative skills. These cooperative skills can benefitthe company as a whole, just as the Nobel Prize winner James Watson said”Nothing new that is really interesting comes with out collaboration (qtd. in Johnson 26). ” These cooperative skills once taught only to management,now must be integrated to the employees, as many management positions havebeen eliminated.
Workers must now possess a “management mentality,” sothat they can co-exist and work beneficially together (Carnoy 123). Problemsolving skills are a necessity for even the simplest of jobs. A high orderof problem solving skills are needed for more advanced positions jobs suchas in aviation (pilots), and in computers and other technical jobs. Havingthe ability to work through problems to come up with a positive end resultcan be a long and arduous task.
The people who have these problems solvingskills can organize more learning, and help others to succeed in solvingproblems (Carnoy 123). Group cooperation heightens and speeds up the timein which it takes to solve problems. It makes for an easier and more efficientapproach to problem solving. As you can see the three main qualitiesof flexibility, working well with others and problem solving are very closelylinked. Workers must be flexible to work well with others, which is importantin having better problems solving skills.
Missing just one of these qualitiesdampens the ability of a worker to be the productive employee, which employersare looking for. These skills are not inherent and are difficult to learn. That is why they must be implemented early on in college. For years colleges have been ignoring thepower of teamwork and the achievements that could not have been made without it (Johnson 26). The problem lies itself within the faculty.
It istheir job to implement cooperative learning into classes, and make it work. This is not an easy task, which is why many professors have opted to stickwith lecturing. Lorenn Walker president of Business Learning StrategiesInc, says, “Every time I am at school or attending training seminars, Iam struck by how inactive students are expected to be. Most of the timestudents simply sit, while the teacher lectures them (27). ” It is mucheasier for students to experience the learning rather than having the answerstold to them.
“Cooperative learning is the heart of problem based learning(Johnson 26). ” Group work allows students to network their thoughts andideas, which than can be expanded with-in the group. They motivate eachother by sharing their ideas and findings. The flexible gr! oup which workstogether can find solutions to problems quickly and efficiently, whichis key in today’s workplaces. Specialized degrees and education providestudents with the expert skills needed in today’s top jobs.
Businessesand companies do not want people with general liberal arts degrees theywant specialist in their field. A pilot needs special skills to fly anairplane that he/she can not get through a liberal art degree. Employersare only going to hire a pilot with the most and best qualifications. Thisis true in most all jobs that require a college degree employers want onlythe best. Some may argue that group work is not goodbecause some people do the work and others take the easy road doing little.
This can sometimes be true in college classes, but in the work environment,it is rare. Professionals are not going to carry the load for the wholegroup, and likewise most responsible adult will not let others do all thework. Professional adults do not have enough time to let their co-workersnot do their share of the work, they will take action by speaking withthe boss. To combat these problems in colleges, professors must set theparameters for the group: The professor must ensure that the student knowshe/she is linked with others in the group, so that he/she cannot succeedunless the others do.
Individual accountability however will be judgedby tests and teacher observation of the group. The professor will teachthe students how to socially interact with each other. Students will haveto help others, contribute their own ideas and offer suppor! tive advice. Lastly and very importantly is teaching the group to engage in group processing.
This exercise will help the students to find ways to improve their groupefforts (Johnson 26). Being taught these group problem solving skills duringcollege better prepares students for the type of work they will have todo in the workplace. To prepare workers for the information-technologyage the starting point will have to be colleges. Colleges educate the schoolteachers and college professors.
The sooner colleges begin to use cooperativelearning the sooner it will trickle down into elementary and secondaryschools. Thus making cooperative learning a part of students lives earlier,so they will sooner adjust to it’s style. College professors must implementcooperative learning now, to teach flexibility and working well with others. This change is imperative not only to the success of workers but the entireeconomy.
Workers with out these skills are at a serious disadvantage ingetting jobs, and keeping them. Works CitedCarnoy, Martin. “The Changing World ofWork in the Information Age. ” New Political Economy 3. 1 (1998): 123-129Jacobus, Lee. “Why the Rich Are GettingRicher and the Poor, Poorer.
” A World of Ideas. 5th ed. Boston: BedfordBooks, 1998. 251-267. Johnson, David Johnson, Roger Smith, Karal. “Cooperative Learning returns to College” Change 30.
4 (1998): 26-36Rifkin, Jeremy. “A Civil Education forthe Twenty-first Century: Preparing Students for a Three Sector Society. “National Civic Review. 87.
2 (1998): 177-182Schmidl, Joe. “Changing the Face of HigherEducation” Pacific Business News 35. 19 (1997): 29Walker, Lorenn. “Hands-On Learning willProduce better Problem Solvers” Pacific Business News 33.20 (1995): 27