New Report on Education and Human Capital Requirements
White Paper From McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and United States Council Foundation Explores Approaches to Lifelong Learning for the 21st Century
NEW YORK, NY, May 17, 2012 (Menafn - MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --As technology increasingly eradicates traditional jobs faster thanindividuals can learn the skills necessary to adapt, the fundamentalprocess of how we educate and train people must be revisited. Inorder to address the needs of the 21st-century economy, educators,policy makers and the business community should develop a commonglobal approach to education, skills development and lifelonglearning. Suggested approaches include building resilience intocurriculums and shifting the focus from either/or knowledge or skillstraining to an area that includes both.
This is the conclusion of a new white paper from the United StatesCouncil Foundation, the educational arm of the United States Councilfor International Business (USCIB), and The McGraw-Hill ResearchFoundation. Summarizing the conclusions of a Roundtable on Educationand Human Capital Requirements held earlier this year, the papercalls for a continuous, cogent conversation to respond to the globaland personal challenges of the 21st century. Rejecting efforts toelevate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) overthe humanities or other disciplines in favor of a more flexibleapproach, the paper encourages educators to address both individuallearning styles as well as the changing demands of the workplace.
"It became clear at the Roundtable that we do not have a coherentstrategy to skills development that will meet the economic needs ofthe 21st century," according to Peter M. Robinson, USCIB's presidentand CEO. "Research is fragmented among stakeholders, with business,educators and policy makers each looking at the problem through theirown prism. We need a global, multi-disciplinary approach to solvingthe problem."
"Disruptive events around the world underscore dramatic changesoccurring in societies; yet one truism remains unchanged: the key tounlocking a brighter future is forged in education," noted James H.McGraw, IV, president of The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation. "If weare to tackle the problem of stubbornly high unemployment and meetthe job needs of global employers over the long term, we need toembrace a wide range of ideas about education and consider newpossibilities."
The paper offers a number of suggestions made at the Roundtable tohelp improve education, including:
--Focus first on early childhood, where the best return on investment
lies. Among other techniques, pair each child with a caring adult, if
a caring parent is not available -- this has been shown to have the
largest single impact on a child's future chances.
--Build resilience into education systems, improving their ability to
respond to rapidly changing needs by allowing for as much as thirty
percent or more of customization and adaptation of curricula (which
will have the extra benefit of being better adapted to each child's
needs and learning styles).
--Push for mastery of the foundational curriculum through middle school
-- the "table stakes." Be explicit about STEM's and Humanities/Arts'
complementary role and value. Emphasize quantitative literacy and
applied mathematics for all, not just for the few who get into STEM
--Focus on processes to reach deep understanding of the knowledge areas
covered. Shift the mindset from knowledge OR skills to knowledge AND
skills, and focus on both knowledge and its applications through
creativity/innovation, critical thinking, communication, and
--Improve the connection between school and work-based learning via
apprenticeships and internships. Open up the teaching profession to
practitioners from the world beyond the educational environment,
moving back and forth between the two, or shouldering teachers.
--Rethink the front-end-loading of education, as in many cases formal
education is continuing well into adulthood via personal re-skilling
and corporate training. Develop micro-credentialing and "stackable"
certificates, which would evaluate and validate skills.
--Develop a better understanding of the role of corporate training and
development and its contribution to life-long learning, as business
and corporate training is currently much larger than the entire U.S.
higher education sector.
--Place increased value on informal learning avenues (such as
after-school programs, museums, etc.) as critical supplements to the
inevitable gaps of formal learning.
"What is clear is that there is an urgent need to bring to the fore adeeply cogent, synthetic, open-minded and continuous conversation,"said Charles Fadel, author of 21st Century Skills and founder andchairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign, which prepared thewhite paper for the Roundtable on Education and Human CapitalRequirements.
The United States Council Foundation and The McGraw-Hill ResearchFoundation will convene a second Roundtable to focus on the whitepaper's suggestions for immediate action and identify key areas forfurther study and research.
To read the report:http://mcgraw-hillresearchfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Education-and-Human-Capital-Requirements_WP.pdf
To view excerpts from interviews with Roundtable participants:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnvokzRkyu4&feature=youtu.be
About the United States Council Foundation: The United States CouncilFoundation, Inc. is a private 501(c)(3) organization affiliated withthe United States Council for International Business. It undertakeseducational activities to promote the benefits of a free marketeconomy, demonstrate and document the role of the corporate privatesector in economic growth and social development, and advancesustainability in environmental management. Additional information isavailable at www.uscouncilfoundation.org. Contact: Jonathan Huneke,1 212.703.5043, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation: The mission of TheMcGraw-Hill Research Foundation is to support organizations, projectsand activities that are advancing global education and knowledge inthe 21st century. The Foundation was established with the support ofThe McGraw-Hill Companies and is a Section 501(c)(3) organization.Additional information is available atwww.mcgraw-hillresearchfoundation.org. Contact: Jason Feuchtwanger,1 212.512.3151, email@example.com.
About the Center for Curriculum Redesign: "What should students learnin the 21st century?" The mission of the Center for CurriculumRedesign (CCR) is to answer this timely question, and openlypropagate its recommendations and frameworks on a worldwide basis.The CCR brings together non-governmental organizations,jurisdictions, academic institutions, corporations, and organizationsincluding foundations. Additional information is available atwww.curriculumredesign.org. Contact: Charles Fadel,firstname.lastname@example.org.
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