It’s hard learning “soft” skills….

As I’ve started discussing in this blog, I’ve been quietly sitting on the sidelines of life, watching and listening to politicians talk about how “education is vital” while they cut education budgets to the bare bones.

As one who’s lived through several corporations who have gone through such downsizings and budget “slash and burns,” that’s  tough environment to still stay creative in — and yet creativity is what’s needed in order to solve today’s educational system.

In “Thought 1” I wondered aloud how we would redesign school if society really started thinking of school as preparing the next generation of employees.  The US Department of Education says that high school should prepare students to be “career-ready” or “college-ready.” Good goal.

But of course there are reports out there that confirm that high school really doesn’t do either. Goodness, employers have been saying for decades that COLLEGE doesn’t aptly prepare college students for the real world!

And what IS “it” that employers are saying high school students (and college students for that matter to some degree?) need? They’re looking for balance: yes, have the theoretical foundations as part of academic preparation, but not at the sacrifice of other, simple competencies: using resources, working with others, using information, systems and processes, technokogy use, and the personal qualities that make for good employees. Or, in some ways we’re saying that students need to have both the ‘hard skills” of content, as well as the “soft” skills — people skills –  in order to be successful.

So, Thought #2: If we accept that we are “growing” the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs, and we believe that the current system is NOT preparing students to be either college or career ready, then what WILL? All of you who are out there: what made you into the employees you are today? What experiences? What lessons?

Category: Organizational Management

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