I have been extremely encouraged by the results I have witnessed by engaging with teachers, students, and educators in the public school system. Apparently they have gained ownership of the plan and vision of a new school system superintendent.
Over the past year I have interviewed Millennial students and educators (tenured and adjunct) and found some very surprising results about our educational system. From the student standpoint current and post-graduation, they have a somewhat different view on their academic accomplishments than what is commonly accepted outside of school. College preparation seemed to be the common thread for both parties providing suggestions as to how it might be improved upon.
Perhaps the most interesting things that I have found in my research to date is that Millennials are very willing to speak about their views and challenges and accomplishments and the results of their academic pursuits. The best analogy I could come up with; it’s like speaking to a grandparent about their grandchild and watch how they recount their stories with feeling as they are emotionally connected to their discourse.
I like to think that since I am both a grandparent and a lifelong learner that we can relate on that regard thus encouraging an interesting and meaningful repartee.
Unfortunately I have found that the numbers compiled by researchers such as Gallup coincide with what I have found to be true from students both close to home as well as in nearby states. Having been involved in post-secondary education as a student over the years graduating initially in 1983 and twice in the 21st century (2005,2013). I am somewhat amazed that I did not grasp these trends sooner.
This is what has inspired me to go out upon the entrepreneurial limb and do my part to work with educators to close the skills gap one student at a time.
This time we need to get it right as our students deserve their chance to pursue the American Dream if they are willing to put in the hard work and learn how to utilize all the advantages at their disposal to benefit the results of their journey.
Our students live in a day I could only dream of when I graduated high school in the mid-seventies but at the same time they will be facing challenges that I never imagined. Literacy is vitally important to a lifelong learner and as analytics are becoming more prevalent in our society; a firm grasp of data literacy will be of value in workforce development.