Published on 2012/02/27

The Need For New Curricula Design At All Educational Levels

According to David McKinney, ex-President and Director of IBM Europe, “as Europe dismantles its frontiers and gears itself for important new opportunities for economic growth, it is thus particularly appropriate to remind ourselves that the development of new educational procedures, curricula, syllabuses and media will underpin or undermine the progress we seek.”

It is surprising that this appeal, made in 1991, still relates to the present time.

The advent of globalization has created pressing demands for changes in all sectors of our everyday social and professional activities. To cope with these requirements we have to adapt our educational and training strategies to enhance the qualifications of individuals by improving   their knowledge levels and developing the necessary skills. If we accept that education is the best type of investment, then our educational system has to shift from the traditional to contemporary domains.

Links of universities or general educational and/or training institutions with enterprises should be among the educational objectives on priority basis. Since education is a process anticipated to attain an outcome, all social partners involved in developing skills and acquisition of knowledge should be geared toward increasing the qualifications of the workforce. A well-structured educational program should provide, among other things, extensive opportunities for its students.

To get the best results from the implementation of new methods in education, the following procedure should be taken into consideration:

  1. Globalization: New conditions in our lives
  2. Measures: Shift from traditional content to contemporary domains
  3. Methodology: Closer links between Universities and/pr Training Organizations and Enterprises
  4. Advisable Tools: Design of new curricula
  5. Anticipated Results: Increase of qualifications of workforce through development of skills and acquisition of knowledge at very high standards
  6. Possible Constraints: Reluctance of people to adapt to innovative norms deficient of educational achievement or social divergence.

It is self-evident that the only effective change, if we mean to create only one, is the way the relative curricula are designed. We live in a world where knowledge must meet current demands, and technologies are developed at an accelerating pace. Therefore, the design of the new curricula should be based on three dimensions: the technological progress, the economic development and the market needs.

These dimensions should be identified and measured by empirical research. The sectors which should be considered for reforms include:

  1. Trade
  2. Technology
  3. Social network
  4. Communication
  5. The role of media

In my proposal for one change in education I include the Technical and Vocational Training (TVT) in parallel with the general education.

Finally, in implementing these new curricula (which are adapted to the existing and identified market demands), five parameters should be taken into consideration:

  • Special training of teachers for TVT courses delivery
  • Fighting against TVT prejudice
  • Increased investment in education and mainly in TVT
  • Establishing information services to identify and prioritize the development of skills necessary for industrial development
  • Supply of professional advice

I strongly believe that, given our historical misunderstanding of the real concept of globalization, the unique way to meet the economic crises is the process of designing new curricula based on the criteria cited above.

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