There has been a fundamental change in the purpose of the mass education of children. The first “common schools” were developed to bring children into a common knowledge that would allow them to work effectively in factories. Its job was to teach what to think not how to think. We are no longer in the industrial age; we are in the knowledge age.
A century ago, most jobs required rote learning and rote work – in factories and farms. Today is a far, far different story. More than ever, working individuals need to be highly motivated and capable learners, able to find out what they need to know and figure out what to do with that information. They need to be able to think well and to judge complex situations using the latest technology. And they need to interact with people all over the world in the vast global markets. The fundamental ways of doing business – what a business is, produces, and needs has changed to its core.
When fortune 500 companies were polled as to what qualities they need in an employee in 2006:
1. Communication skills (written and verbal)
2. Honesty and integrity
3. Teamwork (formation and cooperation)
4. Strong work ethic
5. Analytical Skills
6. Flexibility and adaptability
7. Interpersonal skills
8. Motivation and initiative
9. Detail-oriented skills
10. Organizational skills
11. Leadership skills
12. Self confident
National Association of Colleges and Employers Survey of the Most Desirable Qualities in Prospective Employees
The ultimate service I can provide is to educate the child to be confident in life as an adult. The skills I encourage are the ones listed on the list. I pray for my children; I develop a learning environment; I nurture these “job” skills because I believe they are truly life skills.