Sunday, June 2, 2013

A study to consider . . .

In Education Week Teacher I learned about a recent Gallup Poll that could influence our Future Ready thinking.  It looked at 21st century skills that contributed to quality of work later in life including collaboration, knowledge construction, global awareness, use of technology for learning, real-world problem solving, and skilled communication.  Though the poll included those between the age of 18 and 35, there is something for us to learn in the results.

Overall, the majority of the respondents (59 percent) said that the skills they use in their current jobs were developed outside of school entirely. That response was particularly prevalent among those with only high school degrees—a fact that the study's authors see as "a potential call for action to better prepare youth for work."

The study shows that, in general, the respondents who were high school graduates were far less likely to be exposed to 21st century skills in school than those with higher-level degrees. It also notes that, while the vast majority of all respondents reported having used technology in school, relatively few (14 percent) said they did so for purposes of collaboration, which Gallup calls a key aspect of "today's highly virtualized work environment."

Our Outcomes and Indicators can and do make a difference to later success in learning and work so we need to consider information like this as we continue our work.  Information such as that captured in the question below is an example of data to consider as we identify our current reality and make decisions about adjustments to better prepare our young people for success in post high school learning and work.

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