Posted on 11/14/2011 at 01:20 PM by Global Reach

 We have seen the videos “Shift Happens” or “Did You Know”.  We have heard people speak on Thomas L. Friedman’s book “The World Is Flat” and Tony Wagner’s “The Global Achievement Gap”.  However, we continue to teach and work with our students as we have for the past 20-30 years.  The unit on careers and resumes seldom changes.  The interest inventory we provide students is the same one students took 15 years ago.  And we are the last ones to talk to students about the changes they will be facing as they graduate from high school and college because we really do not get it.  I don’t get it and I have read and studied and presented on these “shifts”.  How do we even begin to prepare students for a world where technology changes every six months?  What can we tell the students about the job opportunities that may be there right now, but might be outsourced to another country by the time they complete their education and training?

I believe that the greatest thing we can do for our students is to make them read!  And while this is not a new idea, my challenge is the material we are having the students read needs to change.  We need to add to Shakespeare and Poe and the other classics, introducing the students to “The World is Flat”, Newsweek, or “Workforce 2020” by Judy and D’Amico.  We need to teach our students how to find the resources they need to make the best decisions they can about their future by helping them research the changing world and recognize the impact these changes will have on their futures.  They need to take ownership of their planning and preparation in light of four major changes they are facing right now, whether they know it or not:  Globalization, Demographics, Technology, and Changing Values & Attitudes.  In the coming months, we will look at each of these major changes.  This month will focus on globalization.

Globalization:  More nations are making aggressive moves into the world market to compete and overtake the US in advancements in technology and free enterprise.  Countries like India, China, and others from Eastern Europe are working hard to market themselves and their workforce to companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco.  Jobs which used to be considered American jobs are now being competed for by hundreds of thousands of people in these other countries.  “Most MRI and CAT scans performed in American hospitals are analyzed in India rather than here at home….A main element in the transformation to an information-based society is the ease in which work moves to worker via digital and satellite information technologies.  Suddenly a very large segment of the world’s available workforce is competing for American jobs.” (Daggett, June 2005)   Now, those jobs that are not place-bound all have the potential of being outsourced or moved to another country.   “When you consider the ability to move work to worker in an age when the majority of jobs exist in the information sector, the fact that India, China and Eastern Europe are competitive in the global economy is not surprising.  It is a situation, however, that few Americans have been able to come to grips with and adapt to. “ (Daggett, June 2005)

Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education writes, “Despite the best efforts of educators, our nation’s schools are dangerously obsolete.  Instead of teaching students to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers, we are asking them to memorize facts for multiple choice tests.  Our teens leave school equipped to work only in the kinds of jobs that are fast disappearing from the American economy.  Meanwhile, young adults in India and China are competing with our students for the most sought-after careers around the world.” (The Global Achievement Gap, 2008)

“The World is Flat”, Thomas L. Friedman, 2006;  and “The Global Achievement Gap”, Tony Wagner, 2008.
White Papers (Dr. Willard Daggett) from the International Center for Educational Leadership at
“Preparing Students for Their Future”
“Globalization – Tipping the Scale of Economic Supremacy”
“Where in the World Is Technology Going?”

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