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Time To Open Our Ears

First of all I feel we have to take a historical look at education. If we look at the turn of the last century the basics of reading and writing were not available to everyone. Indeed I remember my grandfather telling me stories of when he used to read his colleagues’ mail when they were in the trenches in the First World War and how he kept a diary of what was happening around him.

Through the years since then education was more heavily invested in. Why? To prepare people for the work place. This is where I feel we are going wrong. We get the basics at an early age in education, reading, writing, maths etc. It is when people decide to go into higher education that the specific courses they attend prepare them for their chosen career path. Not always the case I know, but predominantly why people attend higher education. So where is it going wrong?

Well in my opinion the education system is losing touch with commerce and industry. We should be teaching people in higher education the specifics of their chosen career, specifics that they will actually use. I find more often than not courses are padded out with detail and information that will never be used after completion of the course. If we look at training in the workplace for example, this is tailored and bespoke to the role a person is carrying out and no fluff around the edges. Educators need to work more closely with commerce and industry to develop effective education (in most cases).

My working history is in managing projects from small budgets to multi million pound projects. I started a company to help higher education institutions integrate that project work into their curricula. It’s so important that people in higher education get an understanding of why project work is so important in any field of work. After all it is about planning, resources and effective working. These are areas every employer would like their employees to be efficient in. I also feel there is a certain degree of arrogance in the education system. An arrogance that says ‘we know best’. Listening is a huge part of education. Maybe we need to use our ears more effectively?

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