How Does Someone in High School Know What to Do?
Welcome back to our series on Lifelong Learning! The founder of Learning Without Scars, Ron Slee, is looking ahead to the future of education and the future of the working world in, “How Does Someone in High School Know What to Do?”
Caroline, my daughter, and I were having a conversation yesterday about Learning Without Scars and the needs of the people who were in school or working. It brought me to ask her – “how does someone in high school know what to do?” Her answer was the school guidance counselor, along with a program being implemented in her specific district (not nationwide). Through the program, students complete career profile quizzes to suggest careers that might suit their learning styles, interests, and strengths. From these career suggestions, students can explore the pathway to reach the career. I found that to be interesting and I pushed back with more questions. How does the advising aspect work with the guidance counselor? One of our good friends was a guidance counselor for most of her career in education in Canada. My grandchildren both accessed their guidance counselor. In the case of my grandchildren, it was more advice on which classes to take and why. I was wondering more about the guidance that the high school students received in their lives. On their individual careers. The question “what do you want to do with the rest of your life?”
Earlier today I was having a Teams Meeting with Steve Clegg, from Zintoro, and John Carlson, from Reflective, and we got into the same subject. There were some interesting options we touched on.
- Some States are offering scholarships to high school students who want to take Advanced Placement or College classes.
- Many of the Deans and School Presidents I talk with indicate that there is a challenge with High school graduates going to university in several areas: – Critical Thinking Skills, Analytical Skills, and Communications Skills.
- Several mention the lack of Leadership Skills
John Carlson has been involved in continuous improvement engagements for many decades. He is a “Systems Thinker.” He has a product that allows an individual to do an evaluation of themselves and how they would fit into the world around us. It starts with an awareness evaluation, then they proceed to a “Gamification. tool”
On another front David Jensen, Johnny Creek Consulting, has developed a “Tabletop Exercise” to assist with evaluating the match of skills and job function needs. Learning Without Scars has Job Function Skills Assessments. We are talking about developing a tool to assist students in high school to answer my opening question.
With the leadership of Steve Johnson, at Learning Without Scars we are developing a network of Centers of Excellence across the US and Canada to carry our classes and assessments for both the Academic Credit and Workforce Development programs in their syllabus. We have developed an intensive library of skills assessments for our classes as well as for our subject specific class reading lists and our homework assignments. This allows us to provide our students with the results that they obtain from increasing their skills and knowledge. With the changes in education continuing to proceed at an extremely fast pace we are looking at extending the assessment process to high school students.
This group, David, Steve, John, and I are trying to tie the skills and performance of the employees with the performance level of the businesses that employ them.
We have data analytics on the transactions of a business. Transaction level data. We have employee skills and knowledge assessments for those employees working in Product Support, the distribution side of the business. We have reflective analysis data on the probability of performance of employees in a business. Now we must tie all of this together.
Ross Atkinson, who keeps our IT and systems needs under control, works with our Learning Management Software, Litmos, on their reporting engine. Between Ross and Steve, we are building Portals for our Schools, Manufacturers, Dealers, Associations and State Certification programs to allow our clients, their employees, and students to be able to track their progress through our classes and assessments.
I find this work to be especially stimulating. As most of you know I am personally invested in helping people find their potential and then providing tools to those people that will assist them to reach their personal and professional potential. It is in keeping with my constant pursuit to get better at what I do.
I grew up spending hours and hours in the swimming pool training. I got to be good at it. There is one profoundly serious lesson that I learned from swimming that has served me well in my years in the business world. You see, in swimming the competition isn’t the issue. Winning races isn’t the issue. Being better than your best time – now that is THE issue. Beating my best time finishing last in a race was a win. A HUGE win.
I learned at an early age that competing with others was not that important. Sure, you felt good if you performed well. But the real competition is within yourself. We must constantly get better at what we do. I wonder who is passing that message along to the high school students that are about to embark on the journey of their lives.
The time is now.