Monday, December 10, 2012

Making the Business Connection

In 2007, when the PA legislature expanded CFF to an additional 250 schools, Governor Rendell saw the program as a way to prepare students to “compete and succeed in the global marketplace.”
In 2012, we have come a long way to making that goal a reality. In order to make that happen, educators need to have a practical and realistic understanding of the skills needed for career and college readiness. The Common Core State Standards identify the academic standards. However, they only begin to address the so-called 21st century skills that are used in the marketplace. If Rip Van Winkle woke up today, would the way we do business seem new to him? Of course. What if he awoke in today’s classroom? Would he feel comfortable? Or would he feel like things have changed? Would he see the students going home tired because they are the ones who are doing the reading, writing, speaking, and listening? Would he see students collaborating and problem-solving with their counterparts in other parts of the world? Would he see students scattered around the room working on authentic projects that apply what they are learning in class? Would kids still be asking, “When will I ever use this stuff?”

I believe that a partnership between K12 educators and business will open up a level of communication that is needed, so that our students can begin learning the skills that employers in their communities find valuable. Educators need to know how decisions are made in business, how employees communicate, how businesses market their products, and the tools they use to do all of the above. Then, once they know the answers to these questions, the way we teach has to begin to reflect the skills that our students need to “compete and succeed in a global marketplace.”

No comments:

Post a Comment