I know I talk (or rather type) a lot about the shift occurring in education and it’s hard to comprehend until you are in the midst of it or someone close to you who is experiencing it.
I heard on NPR’s Morning Edition that the unemployment rate nationwide is down to 8.1%, but that doesn’t reflect the number of UNDERemployed people who are either working part time or have taken a job that doesn’t reflect the skills and fields they spent so long studying.
Interestingly, young professionals who have experienced these frustrations are the ones who are leading the innovative redefinition of what education means:
As recent graduates of American universities, Shaila Ittycheria and Kane Sarhan came to this conclusion and they decided to build an alternative. E[nstitute] is a two year apprenticeship program empowering young adults to learn from and work with top NYC entrepreneurs.”“Higher ed is not working,” Kane said, “but internships do.” Shaila and Kane are targeting 18 to 24 year olds with no bearing on where they are in formal education. The first class of 15 young people will begin working with 35 entrepreneurs in August.
Having lived in Germany for a year, I can’t help but think how similar this approach is to the option offered after Realschule. Not every person in Germany expects or even wants to go to University and not every good job expects a University degree. These different expectations not only provide a stable foundation for the economy, but also provide a stable foundation for students’ understandings of their own individual gifts, talents and interests.
Education then isn’t about taking the path that others have taken, but finding your own path to success and fulfillment.