Thursday, October 23, 2008

Withering Education

BRUCE FULLER writes in NYT, “Schools and colleges have not always been harnessed to simply turn students into more productive workers.

Sure, as parents we want our children to succeed economically. But we also worry about whether they are forming supportive friendships in school and becoming confident thinkers in the hands of nurturing teachers. While contemporary parents still subscribe to humanistic ideals when it comes to children’s well-rounded development, the new utilitarian approach is too quick to fuse schooling to dollar signs. Do we really need more college-educated workers or would we be better off with young people who are employed and engaged in their local communities?

It’s rare that graduates fit snugly with the needs of America’s employers. And if that really is the purpose of education, we should be encouraging on-the-job training, not costly four-year colleges, 

According to new research by James Heckman at the University of Chicago, today’s workers don’t need vocational skills, they need better “non-cognitive” skills — like the capacity to communicate effectively or to cooperatively solve problems”.

Importantly one can deem these issues with Indian education also. 

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