REDESIGNING SCHOOLS (AND JOBS)
Pt. 1 of a blog for teachers searching for ways to address "hot topic" Ethical, Political and Economic issues in a multi-cultural age.
More and more commentators today, along with the parents of most students, agree that the primary goal of education is preparing students for the workforce. (Hopefully well-paying jobs that offers security and gratification?)
Yet according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor "Today's average college graduate will have at least 3 - 5 career changes in their lifetime, and 10 - 14 job changes by age 38."
Generation Opportunity, a conservative nonprofit advocate for millennials, releases a monthly “Millennial Jobs Report” that slices official labor data and tracks unemployment rates for younger workers. From January, 2015 to May, 2016 the percentage of 18 - 29-year-olds decreased slightly from 15.4 to 13.8 percent, still way above the official national jobless rate of 5.4 percent.
So it's likely that some, if not most, of these unemployed are the same young people protesting the enormous debt they've incurred on higher education.
They're not just temporarily in debt. The Digital Revolution has massively increased job insecurity.
Over the next two decades 50 % – 80% of jobs will be loss to globalization due to increased use of computers and robots.
Pretty shocking, even to someone who believes the goal of education is not job preparation. Someone who believes the goal is the ability to make important choices about our leaders, our economy, resources, and moral issues. Wait a minute, "moral issues"??!!!?? we're not going to open that bucket of worms, are we?
Well, yes, but not in the popular use of the term. Who's questioning the morality of our food supply and distribution, or skyrocketing profits in pharmaceuticals, real estate, and arms sales?
Will Allen is. He's the former star basketball player turned Urban Farmer who was featured on the PBS Newshour, 2/1/16 and also on the PBS TV series Road Trip Nation on 2/1/2017.
Will is the son of sharecroppers who never dreamed he'd go back to farming until he realized that he could create a thriving urban business/job training program in Milwaukee. He's a genius at providing meaningful education and job training to disempowered youths through community based service learning, not shutting them up in classrooms.
Will founded Growing Power, is a national nonprofit organization and land trust that helps provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe, affordable food.
I was particularly struck by the depth and breadth of true education that Growing Power's Youth Corps provides through its year-round, youth leadership program of very sophisticated, cutting-edge agriculture demonstrations:
- building and maintaining aquaponic systems,
- soil remediation through raised beds,
- hoop house construction,
- vermiculture, and
- the operation of Growing Power's retail store.
Peter Drucker, the “founder of modern management” and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, predicted that universities won’t survive. “The Future is outside the traditional campus, outside the traditional classroom.”
Sounds like a good thing. In our next blog we'll take a look at how two well-established, highly respected schools that provide such nontraditional courses, including tractor driving! One is a prestigious private school for teens in New England, whose boarders pay $55,000/year. The other is a rural Southern College listed on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Top 300 Best College Values of 2017. None of its students pay tuition.
I look forward to sharing them with you and hearing your thoughts about these alternatives. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/marilla-arguelles-6b238aa/