Aligning to Business Needs
Helping our students succeed in life
Any gathering of business leaders will eventually turn to the challenges of finding qualified workers and leaders. The usual complaint is educators aren’t preparing youth for the business world. When progress on academic assessments are noted by educators, business people explain academics aren’t the point.
So, what is the point? Surprisingly it is showing up on time, doing quality work, passing a drug test, and other seemingly mundane issues. Persistence, solving problems, and being able to work without using Facebook are also common “missing talents”.
Based on this feedback, how can education better prepare young people? It may be easier than we think. Changing how educational experiences are managed could dramatically improve our students’ preparedness.
Lowell Hedges, a tremendous OSU professor and teacher educator, once said, “If you, as a teacher, are more fatigued at the end of the day than your students, you have failed as a teacher. Learning must be the hard work students do to build their own capacities.” The disconnect between business expectations and education expectations are often not the content standards being learned as much as the process we use in helping students learn. If we really care about our students, we need to prepare them for the world they will spend most of their life. Academics are necessary in that world, but they aren’t sufficient to assure success.