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robertogreco : vocational   17

Opinion | The Misguided Priorities of Our Educational System - The New York Times
"Consider two high school seniors — one who exhibits strong academic talent and one who does not. For one, December marks the homestretch of a yearslong effort, intensively supported by his school, to prepare the perfect college application. For the other, December is just another month on the path to, well, whatever might come after graduation. The former will likely proceed steadily toward a bachelor’s degree; the latter is unlikely to finish college if he enrolls at all. To whom does our education system owe what?

That second student, to be clear, has done nothing wrong. He probably clawed his way through his town’s standard college-oriented curriculum, though it neither targeted his interests and abilities nor prepared him for work force success. Looking ahead, he faces a labor market in which he may need to work harder than his college-bound counterpart for lower pay, with fewer options and slower advancement. Yet we celebrate the first student and lavish taxpayer funds on his education. To the second student, we offer little beyond a sympathetic “Sorry.” Our education system has become one of our nation’s most regressive institutions.

After high school graduation, the first student can access more than $10,000 annually in public funds to support his college experience. Federal funding for higher education has grown by 133 percent in the past 30 years; combined with tax breaks, loan subsidies and state-level funding, the annual total exceeds $150 billion. That funding will cover not only genuine instructional costs, but also state-of-the-art gyms, psychiatric and career counseling services, and whatever social programming the student-life bureaucracy can conceive. At Ohio State, students living off campus get free fire alarms.

The second graduate likely gets nothing. Annual federal funding for a non-college, vocational pathway, at both the high school and postsecondary levels, totals $1 billion. Certainly, he will need to buy his own fire alarm.

One explanation for this bizarre state of affairs, in which society invests heavily in those headed for economic success while ignoring those falling behind, is the widespread belief that everyone can be a college graduate. If that were true, the shove toward the college pipeline might make sense.

But most young Americans do not achieve even a community-college degree. Federal data show that fewer than one in five students smoothly navigate the high school to college to career pathway. More students fail to complete high school on time, more fail to move on from high school to college, and more drop out of college. Forty years of reform, accompanied by a doubling of per pupil spending, has failed to improve this picture. Standardized test scores haven’t budged. SAT scores have declined. More students enroll in college, but the share of 25-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree did not increase from 1995 to 2015, and it stands barely above the 1975 level.

A second explanation is the widespread belief that a college diploma is a necessary and sufficient “ticket to the middle class.” If that were true, even a small chance at escaping the supposedly sad fate of inadequate education is better than ever admitting defeat.

But while the median college graduate earns more than the median high school graduate, those workers are not the same person — indeed, they are likely people with very different academic prospects. Look instead at the wage distributions for more comparable samples: those with earnings toward the high end for workers with only high school degrees and those at the low end among college graduates. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that high school grads with above-average earnings (50th to 90th percentile) earn $34,000 to $70,000 annually. College grads with below-average earnings (10th to 50th percentile) earn $28,000 to $58,000.

Pushing people from the former category to attend college and land in the latter category does them few favors. And remember, that assumes they graduate; people in their position typically will not. Remember also, those are the outcomes before we attempt to create an attractive non-college pathway that they might prefer and that might equip them for success.

What might such a pathway look like? For the roughly $100,000 that the public spends to carry many students through high school and college today, we could offer instead two years of traditional high school, a third year that splits time between a sophisticated vocational program and a subsidized internship, two more years split between subsidized work and employer-sponsored training, and a savings account with $25,000, perhaps for future training. Any American could have, at age 20, three years of work experience, an industry credential and earnings in the bank.

To reverse the system’s regressive nature, we should shift our college subsidies toward funding this new pathway. The burden of financing a college education remains manageable for those who actually graduate and use their degrees. They will still be the economy’s winners, even while paying off loans. That some young Americans assume unaffordable debts is not an argument for yet more spending on college, but rather a reminder that its value proposition can prove to be a poor one.

For student borrowers unlikely to graduate, the current subsidies succeed mainly in luring them toward a substantial investment of time and money that is both high-risk and low-return. If a good alternative existed, they would be well served to take it. Certainly, the choice should remain theirs. But to decide wisely whether college is worth the cost, they need to actually face the cost.

People often applaud vocational education in theory, provided it is “for someone else’s kids.” Those kids are most kids, and a false promise of college success does more harm than good. We owe them our focus and the best pathway that we can construct — one that carries them as close as possible to the destination their college-bound peers will reach, and sometimes beyond."
orencass  education  vocational  colleges  collegprep  universities  schooliness  academia  inequality  advising  youth  children  economics  training  income  highered  highereducation  risk  careers  unschooling  deschooling  studentloans  society 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Educator: In Finland, I realized how 'mean-spirited’ the U.S. education system really is - The Washington Post
"The public school system is free to all, for as long as they live. Compulsory education extends from age 6 to 16. After that, students can choose schools, tracks and interests. Students can track academically or vocationally, change their minds midstream, or meld the two together. Remember the goal: competency.

Though students are required to go to school only until age 16, those who leave before secondary school are considered dropouts. Programs designed to entice these youngsters — typically those who struggle academically for a variety of reasons — back into education address the national 5 percent dropout rate. We visited one of these classrooms where teachers rotated three weeks of instruction with three weeks of internships in area businesses.

We toured a secondary school with both a technical and academic wing. The teachers were experimenting with melding the two programs. In the technical wing, we visited a classroom where adults were receiving training to make a career switch. Free.

The fact that students can fail and return, or work and return, or retire and return had a palpable effect on the mood and the tone of the buildings. Surprisingly, considering their achievements, Finnish students spend less time in the classroom, have more breaks throughout the day, and benefit from receiving medical, dental, psychiatric care and healthful meals while in school. It was ... nice.

In comparison, the United States public school system (an idea we invented, by the way) seems decidedly mean-spirited.

Our students enter at around age 5 and have some 13 years to attain a high school diploma. Failure to earn a diploma is a dead end for most. In the United States, when students fail at school — or leave due to many other factors, sometimes just as resistant teenagers — we are done with you. Sure, there are outliers who are successful through luck, sweat, connections or all three, but for most, the lack of a diploma is a serious obstacle toward advancement.

Without a high school diploma, educational aspirations can be severely truncated. Students need a high school diploma to attend community colleges and many technical schools which provide access to advanced skills that impact the living standard.

With or without the needed diploma, any additional education is at the student’s expense in time or money — a further blow to financial standing.

The 13-year window of opportunity does not factor in the developmental level of students at the time of entry. Any educator knows that children do not arrive with the same readiness to learn.

There are many other differences. Unlike the Finnish competency system, ours is based on meeting a prescribed set of standards by passing tests of discrete knowledge. Our students face a gauntlet of tests, even though any standards can be woefully outdated by the time a graduate enters a quickly evolving job market. The Finns take matriculation tests (there is choice in these as well) at the end of secondary but all interviewed said the scores did not have much bearing on what students could do next.""
finland  schools  us  education  policy  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  competition  competitiveness  marytedro  valeriestrauss  politics  economics  assessment  testing  standardizedtesting  competency  vocational  schooling  2018  readiness  standardization  standards  work  labor  opportunity  dropouts  care  caring 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Robert Reich - I know a high school senior who can’t sleep...
"I know a high school senior who can’t sleep because she’s so worried about whether she’ll be accepted at the college of her choice. This is nuts. It’s also absurd that a four-year college education should be the only gateway into the American middle class. Not everyone is suited to college, nor does everyone need it. We desperately need a world-class system of vocational-technical education. Many of tomorrow’s good jobs will go to technicians who install, service, repair, and upgrade high-tech machinery. Even today, it’s hard to find skilled plumbers and electricians.

Yet we cling to a cultural conceit that four years of college is necessary for everyone, and look down on those who don’t have a college degree. Germany – whose median wage (after taxes and transfers) is higher than ours – trains many of its young people to be world-class technicians. Why can’t we?"

[via: https://www.facebook.com/thepathlesstakenblog/posts/880439552014830

"I'm not anti-college. College is the right path for certain individuals and for certain specific career choices, yes. But.... college is not the be-all, end-all; and college is not the path for everyone; and a college degree should not be a status symbol. It's a tool (an expensive tool), and the decision to go shouldn't be taken lightly. The antiquated notion that *everyone* should aspire to go to college baffles me. There are many many different paths one can take to a happy, healthy, and productive life, and many of them do not involve college at all."]
robertreich  colleges  universities  admissions  economics  education  highered  highereducation  vocational  culture  society  us  middleclass 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Finland Phenomenon – a film about schools « Cooperative Catalyst [Great detail in the post, some valuable comments too]
"key takeaways…

1. Finland does not have high stakes tests

2. …worked to develop national consensus about public schools

3. Having made a commitment to public schools…few private schools.

4. …RE accountability, Finns point out they…don't have tests nor an inspectorate…find trusting people leads to them being accountable…

5. …don't have incredibly thick collections of national standards…have small collections of broadly defined standards, & allow local implementation.

6. Qualifying to become teacher is difficult

7. Teachers are well trained, supported, & given time to reflect…including during school day.

8. Finns start school later in life than we do

9. …little homework.

10. …meaningful technical education in Finnish Schools

[Also]…All students in primary & secondary schools get free meals…grow up learning Swedish & English as well as Finnish…health care in the schools…teaching force is 100% unionized. Administrators function in support of teachers, not in opposition."
education  schools  teaching  film  finland  2011  politics  policy  us  learning  standardizedtesting  testing  accountability  control  publicschools  standards  nationalstandards  trust  unions  professionalism  professionaldevelopment  reflection  poverty  healthcare  homework  training  support  technicalschools  vocational 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Debating the Value of College in America : The New Yorker
"…students majoring in liberal-arts fields—sci, social sci, & arts & huma—do better on CLA, show greater improvement, than students majoring in non-lib-arts fields such as business, education & social work, communications, engineering & comp sci, & health…more likely to take courses w/ substantial amounts of reading & writing…attend selective colleges…students who score lowest & improve least are business majors."

"Professor X…“I have come to think that 2 most crucial ingredients in mysterious mix that makes a good writer…1…having read enough…to have internalized rhythms of written word…2…refining ability to mimic those rhythms.”…read a lot of sentences…start to think in sentences…then you can write sentences…Someone who has reached age 18/20 & has never been reader is not going to become writer in 15 weeks. Otoh…not a bad thing for such a person to see what caring about “things that probably aren’t that exciting to most people” looks like. A lot of teaching is modelling."
education  culture  teaching  us  business  liberalarts  professorx  louismenand  colleges  universities  selectivity  learning  writing  books  thewhy  criticalthinking  democracy  meritocracy  cla  money  economics  vocational  pedagogy  highereducation  highered  2011 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Education Studio (HDL) - Helsinki Design Lab
"HDL developed Studio on Education to think about future of education…

1. From equal access to edu to equal opportunity to develop ones’ talents & aspirations 2. From inherited Social Contract to a Social contract that includes voices of all stakeholders to create shared meaning 3. From current, institutional social welfare system to Social welfare system v 2.0 integrated w/ personal agency & empowerment 4. From administrative structures that are hierarchical & vertical to…inclusive, open & flexible 5. From schools as institutions for acquisition for academic skills to schools as agents of change that inspire & produce civic innovation, creativity, & holistic growth 6. From a strong focus on the normative to the inclusion of all members of society with different abilities and strengths 7. From learning for academic achievement to learning expertise for life 8. Open public discourse 9. Strengthen international networks and collaboration 10. New Suomi School for 21st Century"

[See also: http://helsinkidesignlab.org/dossiers/education/the-challenge AND http://helsinkidesignlab.org/blog/week-113 ]

[See also the Oivallus bookmarks: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/t:oivallus ]
finland  sitra  helsinki  helsinkidesignlab  education  deschooling  unschooling  casestudies  collaboration  networks  vocational  designthinking  lcproject  tcsnmy  holistic  holisticapproach  socialwelfare  hierarchy  access  equality  institutions  empowerment  agency  personalagency  change  gamechanging  civics  innovation  life  lifeskills  discourse  transparency  open  openschools  networkedlearning  relevance  oivallus 
june 2011 by robertogreco
DIY U: Digital Apprenticeship and the Modern Guild | e-Literate
"Jim Groom suggested apprenticeship might be a good model for networked learning, particularly for those students who are not auto-didactic…a model that is well understood, can work for a variety of topics in less formal settings, can get learners productive on certain tasks quickly, & can get the benefits of scale by using modern communications technologies…So in this post, I’m going to consider the question of what it would take to embed apprenticeship into the fabric of our society as a broadly accepted career path across a wide range of career types…

If it’s really going to take hold, then digital apprenticeship has to be very clearly class-leveling rather than class-perpetuating. But what would that look like? How can we craft a modern apprenticeship relationship that has a close bi-directional apprentice/master relationship and is economically leveling?"
apprenticeships  education  highschool  colleges  universities  learning  digitalapprenticeships  jimgroom  highereducation  highered  edupunk  diyu  training  via:leighblackall  school-to-work  vocational  michaelfeldstein 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Education Week: An Open Message to President Barack Obama
"in years of Cold War, public schools were blamed for contributing to alleged missile gap & prospect of losing space race. Federal initiatives resulted in curricular priorities…math & science, to be led by university scholar-specialists…students learned from these initiatives that they did not like math & science…university enrollments in those disciplines plummeted…Earlier, Harvard President James B. Conant had called for a moratorium on national testing…situation is far worse today…

In mid-20th century, a committee of American Academy of Arts & Sciences pointed out…purely academic program advocated for high school by many university liberal arts professors…whole national life would be in danger of collapse. Unfortunately, we backed away from commitment to meaningful preparation of young people for life after HS.

…your metrics…Race to the Top…relegating studies & activities that children love—civic education, arts, career education—to bottom rung of academic ladder."
education  rttt  barackobama  arneduncan  2011  learning  science  math  mathematics  schools  curriculum  arts  vocational  colleges  universities  collegeprep  history  coldwar  testing  standards  standardizedtesting  standardization  tcsnmy  meaning  publicschools  civiceducation  careers  danieltanner  jamesconant  johndewey  highereducation  children  politics  policy  inequality  engagement  teaching 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change | Video on TED.com
"Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She's teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers' minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state."
design  ted  education  change  teaching  lcproject  schooldesign  studioh  projecthdesign  projecth  emilypilloton  northcarolina  rural  designthinking  tcsnmy  classsize  vocational  systems  systemsthinking  humanitariandesign  cv  braindrain  criticalthinking  meaning  purpose 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Views: The 20-Something Dilemma - Inside Higher Ed
"rigid scripting of childhood & adolescence has made young Americans risk- & failure-averse. Shying away from endeavors at which they might not do well, they consider pointless anything w/out clear application or defined goal. Consequently, growing numbers of college students focus on higher ed’s vocational value at expense of meaningful personal, experiential, & intellectual exploration. Too many students arrive at college committed to pre-professional program or major they believe will lead directly to employment after graduation; often they are reluctant to investigate unfamiliar or “impractical”, a pejorative typically used to refer to liberal arts…Ironically, in rush to study fields w/ clear career applications, students may be shortchanging themselves. Change now occurs more rapidly than ever before & boundaries separating professional & academic disciplines constantly shift, making flexibility & creativity of thought that a lib arts education fosters a tremendous asset…"

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1375094336/the-rigid-scripting-of-childhood-and-adolescence ]
education  learning  liberalarts  humanities  highered  demographics  childhood  adolescence  unschooling  vocational  training  colleges  universities  whatmatters  flexibility  tcsnmy  riskaversion  risk  failure  risktaking  experience  experiential  experientiallearning  exploration  whatdoiwanttodowithmylife  2010  parenting  youth  life  lcproject  deschooling 
october 2010 by robertogreco
What We Can Learn: An Excerpt from Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? -- In These Time
"Why are kids in Germany paying [union] dues, voluntarily [and in increasing numbers]?
...It’s not Marx but John Dewey whose picture should be in the lobby of...Social Democratic Party. It’s Dewey who believed that schools should not just teach practical skills but explain why kids have to be political, to be citizens, to get into labor movements to protect skills they are acquiring. One can say that union membership is a “tradition” in certain industries. But that’s just an opaque way of saying that kids get politicized both at home & school as they go through Dual Track...

The answer to problems of our country is education, but not the kind we’re pursuing, i.e., jamming more kids into college or even teaching practical skills; instead, it’s teaching them how, politically, to cut themselves a better deal. As long as that’s going on, it’s impossible to write off the European or, more specifically, the German model."

[Quote from page 2. Via: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2010/07/sometimes-we-try-japanese-model-of-work.html ]
germany  japan  us  johndewey  education  citizenship  democracy  socialdemocracy  socialism  unions  organization  labor  rights  apprenticeships  skills  politics  vocational  self-interest 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Edge
"Edge is an independent education foundation, dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning. We want all young people to have the opportunity to achieve their potential, to ensure that the UK’s future workforce is equipped with the skills to succeed.
education  uk  vocational  teaching  change  reform  alternative  schools  schooling 
december 2009 by robertogreco
December 18, 2009 – We Are The People We've Been Waiting For | The 3rd Teacher
"Edge is an independent education foundation, based in the UK, which is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning to match the emphasis currently placed on traditional academic training. Edge recently produced a documentary titled ‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For.’ The film explores the role of education in equipping our children with the tools they need to face the challenges of our rapidly changing world. The Third Teacher contributor, Ken Robinson, is featured in the film. Here is a short yet powerful trailer:" [more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRi8_fXz1D8 AND http://www.wearethepeoplemovie.com/ AND http://www.youtube.com/user/WeAreThePeopleMovie ]
education  kenrobinson  thirdteacher  documentary  traditional  academics  vocational  learning  schools  schooling  diversity  film  lcproject  adaptability  change  reform  society  publicschools  industrial  gamechanging  onesizefitsall  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  reggioemilia 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Book Review - 'Shop Class as Soulcraft - An Inquiry Into the Value of Work,' by Matthew B. Crawford - Review - NYTimes.com
"ideologists of knowledge economy have posited a false dichotomy between knowing & doing...most forms of real knowledge, including self-knowledge, come from the effort to struggle with & master brute reality of material objects...All these activities...require knowledge both about the world as it is & about yourself & your own limitations...can’t be learned simply by following rules...require intuitive knowledge that comes from long experience & repeated encounters with difficulty & failure...self-esteem cannot be faked...Highly educated people with high-­status jobs often believe that they could do anything their less-educated brethren can, if only they put their minds to it, because cognitive ability is the only ability that counts. The truth is that some would not have the physical & cognitive ability to do skilled blue-collar work & that others could do it only if they invested 20 years of their life in learning a trade."
books  francisfukuyama  matthewcrawford  psychology  culture  society  work  manual  vocational  self-esteem  knowledgeworkers  bluecollar  whitecollar  knowledge  learning  experience  failure  mechanics  tcsnmy  tangible 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Lunch over IP: ComDays07 / Stefana Broadbent: The 20 people we communicate with
lots here: Swiss teen apprentice = similar social networking and communication patterns to adults; Europe/US...20 core (7 intimate circle + 13 close circle), 37 weaker ties; only 40% of core are chosen, rest are family, classmates, colleagues, neighbors
socialnetworks  socialnetworking  networks  communication  gamechanging  networking  mobile  phones  sms  dunbarnumber  dunbar  lcproject  education  apprenticeships  vocational  research  human  behavior  society 
october 2007 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Programmes | Analysis | Training Minds
"What we may see, is that the higher education sector becomes more and more split between elite universities offering old style residential courses, and more informal universities offering much more flexible learning tied to their communities."
education  learning  universities  colleges  uk  vocational 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Suddenly, vocational training back in vogue | csmonitor.com
"Enrollment soars in 'career technical ed,' as demand grows for workers with specific skills."
education  learning  technical  colleges  universities  students  economics  skills  vocational  schools 
october 2006 by robertogreco

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