Science Skills & Employability Skills Predict Future Salary
Posted by Bert Maes on November 30, 2010
The kids that have good science and math skills are most likely to get good jobs in the future. Math and science skills tend to better predict future earnings than other skills taught in high school. (the Atlantic)
Many countries are currently discussing their education system, as many business leaders feel that far too many of today’s students are unprepared for the changes and challenges ahead, and that the situation is only getting worse. Many people blame teachers and principals for the perceived poor job readiness skills, lack of personal responsibility and underwhelming work ethic of our youth. When it comes to what’s wrong with our schools, there is no shortage of opinion, much of it conflicting.
Especially painful is the trend of billionaires giving away millions of dollars to schools that have pursued education reform that they like. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just did the same. Apparently all of them are education reform experts. The rich are determining the course of the country’s education system. But none of their projects is grounded in any research. Bill Gates’ 2 billion dollars to create small schools out of large drop-out factories didn’t work for his goal. Standardized test scores didn’t go up. Many of the small schools that he invested in did not improve students’ achievement in any significant way.
A big part of the solution might be rather ‘simple’: focus on math and science skills, but make sure that children are ready to ‘receive’ these skills, make sure they get inspired. The key in manufacturing education reform seems to be engagement and motivation.
In this regard, I just got connected to Fred Hageman. And what he is doing is just brilliant. He developed a program to improve student achievement by maximizing motivation, self-confidence, and personal responsibility.
I quote Fred Hageman:
“In football, the quarterback’s job is to deliver the ball to the receiver, but that is all that he can do. In order for the play to be successful, the receiver must catch the ball. It’s the same in school: regardless of how well-planned, innovative, or pedagogically sound a given lesson may be, for it to be successful, the student must receive it. And yet, far too often, this isn’t happening.”
If we don’t create school environments of success, Fred says, and teach how to be committed, how to focus, how to believe and how to visualize goals, the skills and knowledge our teachers try to teach our students will not take root nearly as well as they could. Seeds need fertile soil to grow.
“If we energize our students how to be committed, how to be determined, how to achieve the “I WILL DO THIS” mentality, and how to set brilliant goals, we can maximize motivation, self-confidence, personal responsibility and those test scores.”
“Throughout his NBA career, Charles Barkley was among the leaders in rebounds, even though he was a lot shorter than the players he was going up against night after night. When asked about what techniques he relied upon for his success, he said, “I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I’ve got a technique. It’s called ‘just go get the damn ball.'”
Charles Barkley knew exactly what he was going for. And he had full confidence in his abilities. He was able because he thought he was able. He had a goal and he was committed to achieving it. He spent most of his mental effort visualizing successfully catching that “damn ball”. He constantly kept his focus on the ball and he was determined to do it right, and right away. For him, excellence was not an act, but a habit. It was who he was. He wanted and expected to catch every single ball, thousands in a row.
Schools need to become places again (?) where young people learn such life achievement skills, where they experience and learn commitment, determination, inspiring math and engaging CNC science.