Sunday, November 21, 2010

Diagrams: Show me how you think schools influence on-the-job success

In the United States of America educators have been told for years and years that it is they who have to prepare students for the “World of Work.” It is they who have the major responsibility to get kids ready for a job.

Unfortunately, educators have accepted this burden without thinking it through. It is clearly nonsense! What responsibility does your ninth-grade English teacher have for the fact that you got laid off 25 years later because your company is "resizing" because it overexpanded?

In a world of commerce – “free enterprise” it is misleadingly called – in businesses that can’t even keep track of legal records, that can’t and won’t police its own pirates, whose stock markets are vulnerable to arbitrary manipulations, exactly how is a first, or second, or for that matter, an eleventh or twelfth grade teacher supposed to influence his student’s future success on the job?

Diagram it! Let A -> B be read “A influences (causes) B.” What in-school-A's influence on-the-job-B’s? Watch out here that you don’t step in any fresh cowpies! There are two basic rules to follow:
1. Every effect, B, has more than one (contributing) cause.
2. Every cause, A, has multiple effects.

When you start diagramming all the possible causes influencing any B, you soon see that school influences may be a weak contribution to the total.

To examine these issues further, see Moral Responsibility in the Education Industry: 
how much can school reform enhance a student's occupational fitness?

--- EGR

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