No matter your circumstances, married/involved/single, there are probably kids somewhere in your world.
I read a lot of articles about education, but three about kids really stood out for me and I believe will be of value to you.
The first looks at the unpleasant fact that our so-called modern education is producing workers more fit for 19th and early 20th Century jobs than those that will be available when they enter the workforce. In other words, acing standardized tests does not prepare you for anything more than functioning in rote.
In the future, if you want a job, you must be as unlike a machine as possible: creative, critical and socially skilled. So why are children being taught to behave like machines?
Speaking of behind-the-times teaching.
The only thing that can be said for the traditional approach to math, which, along with critical thinking, is one of the most critical skills needed in the future, is that it stinks.
Whether you look at the results by age (including adults), race or gender math skills are sadly lacking in the US and many other countries.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
John Mighton, a Canadian playwright, author, and math tutor who struggled with math himself, has designed a teaching program that has some of the worst-performing math students performing well and actually enjoying math. There’s mounting evidence that the method works for all kids of all abilities.
Finally, or maybe foremost, is culture.
Just as in companies, the culture in a school is the determining factor on whether kids learn — or not.
The prevailing culture of many schools, especially the vaunted charter schools, has been one “no excuses.” A culture focused on regimentation and inflicted mostly on poor children of color.
But as any idiot knows, regimentation is not going to produce the next Marc Benioff or Larry Elison, So what does?
Ascend Public Charter Schools network began to retrain teachers to focus on social and emotional development. This provided the framework for creative problem solving to help prevent conflicts between students, or between teachers and students, from escalating.
Does it work? Is it making a measurable difference? Short answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
Around the same time that Ascend was transforming its culture, it put in place a new curriculum, more closely aligned with progressive schools, that focuses on intellectual inquiry rather than received knowledge. At Ascend’s lower and middle schools in Brownsville, passing grades on the annual state English test increased to 39 percent in 2016, from 22 percent in 2014, while the rate on the math test increased to 37 percent, from 29 percent. It’s hard to isolate the cause for the improvement, but it is likely to be a combination of both the academic and cultural changes, which makes Ascend a bold testing ground for the theory that children from low-income homes can be educated the same way as children from affluent families.
Finally, what about adult education, specifically the much ballyhooed MBA? Does it provide the education that provides the skills to climb the corporate ladder?
Not really, according to Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professorship of Management Studies at McGill University, who looked at CEOs from what is considered the most elite university on the planet: Harvard.
Joseph Lampel and I studied the post-1990 records of all 19. How did they do? In a word, badly. A majority, 10, seemed clearly to have failed, meaning that their company went bankrupt, they were forced out of the CEO chair, a major merger backfired, and so on. The performance of another 4 we found to be questionable.
I sent the article to another Harvard-educated CEO I know. His reaction?
Excellent article. Very true. It took me years to unlearn what I’d been taught at business school…
The article is well worth your time, especially if you, or someone you know, are considering spending the money/going into debt for your MBA.
One more irreverent note, compliments of CB Insights, that is oh, so, true.
Hack: How to hire MBAs
My co-founder Jon stumbled upon this hack to get lots of MBA resumes which I’m going to let you in on.
Whatever the job title, throw the word “strategic” in front of it.
Image credit: .waldec