Standing Out In The Crowd
The resumés are piled high. There is only one position open. Who will you choose? Students now, and in the future, will be facing the demanding challenge of being able to stand out in the crowd. Many of them will have come through a typical traditional educational experience. They have probably risen to the top in a world of waiting to be told what to do, reading the manual, doing what the teacher or examiner wants, and showing their personal best with high academic results on a multiple choice test. They have the certificate to prove it. Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General Organization for Economic Development and Opportunity (OECD), states that, “The modern global economy doesn’t pay you for what you know, because the Internet knows everything. The world economy pays you for what you can do with what you know.”
Preparing Students for the Right Things
So “doing” seems to be an important word. Master’s teachers concern themselves with answering this question: What should students be able to “do” to be selected out of the staggering list of applicants?
Many agree that students need to:
- Be self directed, initiating ideas and able to manage projects
- Apply learning in one situation to action in another situation
- Choose wisely
- Contribute locally and globally
- Think critically and creatively in order to design and innovate
- Work with positive collaborative interdependence
- Be reflective in leading change and improvement
- Understand system theories that lead to transformation
- Be persistent and loyal
- Communicate and present with varied technologies
- Track and interpret data
This leads to the following questions begging to be answered: Where, in a traditional classroom, with the teacher doing most of the talking, leading, and assessing, would a student develop the skills needed in the global economy? What opportunities would a student have to practice the skills of the workplace when this student spends more time listening passively and often in an isolated desk?
Job Market Value
However, if this same student had an Imaginal Transformational Agent as a teacher, who provided opportunities for choice through student ownership and empowerment, leadership would rise to the surface. In our environment at Master’s Academy and College, education is transformed for the student. The classroom is bursting with meaningful and relevant engagement in real world projects, and the issue of motivating students disappears. Now we see specific competencies emerging that will be valued in the job market. Self-efficacy is reflected in the confidence to try new ideas with a success mindset. Mistakes will be viewed as learning. Risks will be taken and challenges accepted. Empowered students learn to manage their stress, work together collaboratively and arrive prepared and ready for the responsibilities they have been given.
Traditional education is woefully obsolete in preparing students to present themselves as a relevant and eye-catching employee. The system needs transformation that goes beyond fixing a few problems here and there with new initiatives. The system needs a re-definition of the role of the teacher and the role of the student.
“The modern global economy doesn’t pay you for what you know, because the Internet knows everything. The world economy pays you for what you can do with what you know.” – Andreas Schleicher
Getting Prepared For The Right Things
When teachers know their role is to set the context for learning, and to prepare the unique and personalized conditions under which learning can take place, the classroom will have begun the journey towards transformation. When teachers spend less time in direct instruction, and instead ensure that the necessary conceptual connections are being made in the learning outcomes, our students will be able to apply learning from one situation to learning in another. When students are actively engaged in Learning Adventures that focus on both academic rigor and innovative design, they will emerge as critical and creative thinkers – highly valued in the economy of this century. As teachers place value on who the student is becoming, we have a better chance of graduating students who can lead world change.
A student fortunate enough to be in such a classroom will be transformed into the “kid who gets the job”!
At Master’s, we give our students the best chance to land the careers that will bring personal joy and satisfaction. Let’s help them stand out in the crowd!