OK, I never bought the idea that school is about readying people for a career. It is, but only as secondary thing. Education is about something much, much bigger. But for interest’s and argument’s sake, let’s take workplace prep as our schools’ raison d’etre. It follows that we ought to be looking at the workplace to get an idea of what we are preparing our students to take on.
Not only are jobs changing, the definition of a job is changing, according to enterprise research firm, Berson and Associates. They predicted a “borderless workplace will drive new talent and learning strategies in 2011.” They continue to push the idea in early 2012 saying we’ve seen the end of the job as we know it.
… “the borderless workplace,” a concept which explains how today’s workers work seamlessly with people inside and outside their organization on a regular basis. And this shift has redefined what a “job” actually is.
Source: Berson & Assoc.
So, what does this mean for schools? Are we preparing students to take on jobs, or roles?
I think, inherently, schools understand the idea of roles. A lot of classroom practice, at least at my school, looks like what Berson & Associates describe as the best practices of high-performing organizations, i.e. they focus on results and expertise and not position, they reward continuous learning and so on. So we ought to be in good position–I think we’re agile enough, to use the industry term–to make changes without calling for dramatic cultural change, just maybe some subtle shifts in thinking.
Nevertheless, there’s something nagging at me. I want to take this to our working group looking at so-called 21C skills and see what they think: Are we missing something?