Founders Blog

STATE OF AMERICAN EDUCATION

April 24, 2017

  From a QUANTA Magazine interview with Freeman Dyson, “A ‘Rebel’ Without a Ph.D” by Thomas Lin, we find an arresting introduction to today’s subject: Dyson, the world-renowned mathematical physicist and now 90, when asked, “You became a professor at Cornell without ever having received a Ph.D.  You seem proud of that fact?”         “Oh, yes. I’m very proud of not having a Ph.D. I think the Ph.D. system is an abomination. It was...

MATH/SCIENCE = MANUFACTURING

April 19, 2017

I’m sure it’s no secret to any of you who work in the process and manufacturing industries that science and mathematics are inexorably linked to what you and your organization do on a daily basis.  Of equal importance is the fact that the American economy is hinged, to a large extent, on the contributions science and math make to our industrial complex. Manufacturing has the largest multiplier of all sectors of the...

ADVANCES IN SKILLS TRAINING

April 17, 2017

While the following results are a couple of years old, they undoubtedly still apply today: “Lack of training is the biggest obstacle to manufacturing quality success today, according to the 2014 Manufacturing Training Trends Survey recently released by Seminars for Engineers. According to the report, 27% of respondents cited lack of training, 20% cited outmoded equipment, 16% cited poor quality control and 14% cited company morale. While 89% said their company offers opportunities...

MORE JOBS & SKILLS TRAINING

April 12, 2017

Lately, we’ve been reading a lot about the changes coming to U.S. manufacturing.  We’ve seen articles written about the return of manufacturing jobs to America as well as the disconnect between those jobs and insufficiently trained applicants. An article in Plant Engineering summarizes these issues: More manufacturing jobs are returning to U.S. shores while new innovation “hubs” are being created across the nation.  The manufacturing sector is undergoing an evolution where innovation...

THE TEACHING PROFESSION

April 10, 2017

“The truth about teachers…  Until you have had the distinct privilege to teach, you will never fully know what goes on behind that closed (or even open) classroom door.  Despite what some assume, teachers are overworked and underpaid.  Despite that, some claim they have perfect hours and more than adequate time off. But teachers don’t clock out at 3p.m. nor do they stop working the first week of June.  Despite what some...

IT’S THE IMPLEMENTATION!

March 29, 2017

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”  (Lee Iacocca)  We’ve all heard the expression, “Good ideas are a dime a dozen!”  And, so they are!  But, too many of them prove of little value, simply because the premises behind them are not thoroughly examined.  If the more important questions are not asked –- the more important answers are never found. Therefore,...

SUPPORTING TEACHERS & TRAINERS

March 27, 2017

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”   (Benjamin Franklin)  When talking about the challenges facing both education and training today, one size no longer fits all.  Stand-up instruction, books, distance learning, networked computer-based instruction, and multi-sensory e-Learning may all have a place. Equally important is the support required by education and training professionals in dealing with the increasingly complicated challenges that effect learning.  And,...

RESPECTING ALL SKILLED PEOPLE

March 22, 2017

This week I came across a Stephen Hawking quote that reminded me of one of the root problems facing America today, “Asked if he believed he was the most intelligent person in the world, he gave a sharp response, ‘I would never claim this.  People who boast about their IQ are losers.’” As corollary, I’m also troubled by those people who must brandish a PhD degree as if they were wearing a...

COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARTNERING

March 20, 2017

“In the years since the Great Recession, the American economy has struggled to regain its economic pace, and more policymakers are turning to education to help meet the high demands of a skilled and educated workforce. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all American jobs will require some form of post-secondary degree or credential, but the current rate at which colleges and universities...

E-LEARNING IS WORKING

March 15, 2017

Without something resembling a liberal arts education, combined with an extensive vocabulary, in-depth thinking becomes restricted. Without the skills training one receives in high school and college, as well as from corporate training departments, the ability to excel in one’s chosen career becomes limited. In terms of the former, most individuals are on their own as a liberal arts education becomes more and more de-emphasized.  No worry, however, for those motivated individuals...

JOBS AND THE SKILLS GAP

March 13, 2017

As The Wall Street Journal reported last Fall, “Amid anxiety about the disappearance of factory jobs, thousands of them are going unfilled across the U.S.  The number of open manufacturing jobs has been rising since 2009, and this year stands at the highest level in 15 years, according to Labor Department data.”  In a most interesting article by Max Nisen, “The Growing Skills Gap, Explained In Three Charts,” published in BUSINESS INSIDER...

REEXAMINING “SUCCESS”

March 8, 2017

Unfortunately, for many of our young people today, “success” is seen as equatable with annual income — and the resulting inference has become, “the more you earn, the more ‘successful’ you are.” Combined with a greater and greater emphasis on hiring only those individuals who have a college degree, attitudes are changing — and, not for the better. There is no correlation between “smart” and “great grades.”  There is no correlation between...

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN REVISITED

March 6, 2017

As a followup to last weeks blog, “Improving Instructional Design,” here are some additional thoughts.  Jane Bozarth writing in “Learning Solutions Magazine”  quotes Étienne Charles Wenger (best known today for his work in the field of communities of practice):  “Instruction does not cause learning; it creates a context in which learning takes place, as do other contexts.  Learning and teaching are not inherently linked.  Much learning takes place without teaching, and indeed...

WORDS & SKILLS TRAINING

March 1, 2017

“We think with words.”  (A. G. Draper) In article by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. in the City-Journal, “A Wealth of Words,” expands on that theme: .  .  . vocabulary size is a convenient proxy for a whole range of educational attainments and abilities—not just skill in reading, writing, listening, and speaking but also general knowledge of science, history, and the arts.  If we want to reduce economic inequality in America, a good...