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Educating for Reality

This is good stuff! Kudos to North Carolina, not because they have succeeded, but because they are trying in a number of innovative ways to solve actual problems that students are observed having. You always have to try before you can succeed. The Newsweek story is here: The Future is in Their Hands.

The key here is that North Carolina educational authorities are looking at what their young people actually need in the workplace and organizing their education around that, rather than around some traditional idea of what they need. I think this could get much more radical, and do so to good effect. We need to look at the needs of the workplace and examine every element of the curriculum asking, “Is this helping us attain our goal?”

Those who are planning for college can afford, and may even need some detours to round out their learning ability, but those who are going into technical jobs need specific skills.

I hope more states and communities learn lessons from this.

Note: Something much closer to my daily life is the education of pastors. I would love to see churches, especially the United Methodist Church, re-examine pastoral training in the light of what pastors actually do. For example, training in prayer/prayer ministry, practical advice from other pastors on working with administrative boards and staff-parish relations committees, perhaps a year working with an older, well-chosen pastor as opposed to more classroom time. These are just ideas–I’d just like to see the whole thing looked at. I have yet to work with a pastor in a parish who does not state that a good portion of his seminary training was not relevant to his work.

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