Originally Posted by Roger
Tony, thanks for your good post. I thought the snow was 5 feet deep, but perhaps my subjective observation wasn't right.
You make lot of valid points. Yes, I may still have 1959 glasses on my observations, but I do make lots of effort to keep in touch with what is happening with education. Despite what the normal flow says to "stay in your generation," I wander away from that perspective, and involve myself with as many as I can who are not of my generation. I refrain from hanging around with "the old people" as much as I can, and find situations with mufti-generational populations -- all for the reasons stated of wiping clear the 1959 perspectives. I irritate lots of people because of my never-ending questions about their work, their student/children. I want to know what is happening, and more importantly, why. I have several friends who are teachers, both in public and private schools. I regularly pepper them with questions about what is happening in their schools and teaching methods. I have many friends who homeschool, and also try to query their practices and outcomes.
I have engaged lots of people about the current wave of Common Core ideas that is sweeping the country. This is puzzling when I read about the suggested requirements. There is absolutely nothing new here. It places emphasis on reading and writing -- so what? This is basic, and why is this revolutionary that it needs national attention? There is good reason to understand why the report of last week reveals how far US students are behind their global counterparts --- IF Common Core says we need to emphasize reading and writing. Oh my!! Sorry, I digress ...
Your point about having a part-time job with a technology company is very good. I can fully understand why this was important to you. I see these situations be very fruitful, both for the student, and for the business. It can provide valuable experience in the field, and provides an entry into the worker as a future employee. However, trying to use this as a like-analogy for college students and cutting grass/laying mulch is beyond a stretch. A future employer of the college graduate is not going to get excited about experience in straight stripes across a lawn, putting down well-laid mulch, or nicely trimmed bushes. This was my point about trying to make the college experience and lawn service work together. Working part-time for experience in the field of study is one thing, but cutting grass that has zero to do with the field of study is quite another. I applaud you having those years of internships, and part-time employment, shape your outcome. This does not happen cutting grass.
I too worked for years with people with educational credentials equal, or far above my grade. I hired them, managed them, promoted them, I fired them. I also hired, managed, promoted, and fired people who had two year associates degrees. Oh yes, there were some high school graduates in the mix as well. So, I've seen the entire spectrum. And, from those experiences, I've seen such a wide range of interests, commitments, productivity, and advancement. I stand by the comments regarding networking and other skills unrelated to the field of study. Character, commitment, and faithful attributes transcend time, or educational level.
I would agree wholeheartedly that the workplace and employment situations have changed. I seek out people who have unique work situations, often asking questions that probe more deeply than the other party wishes to reveal. Business models continue to change.
I also try to understand what is happening with the workforce. When I hear that today's young workers (e.g. Millenials) are measuring their longevity in terms of months, and not even years, I am left wondering about the future. The trust between the business environment and the workforce has been severely damaged. Companies used to send their workers to training, give them a year or two to ramp. But, workers used this training and education to leverage their position with another employer, demonstrating no loyalty. Businesses, on the other hand, have gone extreme in cutting workforce for bottom line. Workers don't trust businesses. Businesses don't trust workers to hang around. I hear of workers' expectations, requests for privileges, and desires, and I know why I am not managing people any longer. Businesses regard workers as a number, free to "plug-and-play." The relationship is far from what it was 20 years ago. I don't know what the future holds in this regard, but the relationship is very strained now. Yes, it is frustrating on both sides. More importantly, it is hurting our nation in terms of global competition. Again, I digress ...
Thanks much for the discussion, ... valuable stuff.