OECD Global Perspectives on Education

Extracted 15DEC2011 from http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2011/12/education-does-not-equal-skill...

...What about the “soft” skills that so many students report are not developed in traditional school settings: clear communication skills, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, collaboration, curiosity, critical thinking and technological skills? How do individuals best acquire these skills – which mean more to long-term professional success than purely occupational skills do – and what do we need to do as a society to develop, value and encourage such skill development?

...Some of the ideas participants in the session came up with were:

  1. Link studies to labour market demand. Should governments regulate entry into study programmes, for example when there is a skills surplus and a jobs deficit?
  2. Improve career counselling to students and involve parents. Help students and parents know what the jobs of the future will be, where some of the shortages may lie and what skills will best help them succeed.
  3. Provide internships/work experience opportunities on a parallel track along with university studies (as in the United States and France).
  4. Put more professional, practical skills training into university education. [This becomes and exceedingly interesting and productive question when considered in the context of "soft" skills. See links below.]
  5. Encourage entrepreneurship and innovation among youth: communicate that small-business owners are important actors in society and that there is room for thinking outside the box, across disciplines and beyond borders.
  6. Build skills locally (rather than outsourcing to cheaper providers).
  7. Keep in mind that skills mismatch can begin at school – tracking can lead to rigidity and close down broader skills development. 

[See also http://www.scribd.com/doc/41888356/Distributed-Teaching-in-Blended-Learning-H... and http://www.scribd.com/doc/44627733/Closing-the-Gap-Between-Army-Education-and... as well as other documents in the collections on this site pertaining to "outcomes-based training and education" and "collective intelligence"]


Gary Riccio

As a partner and as a consultant, I deliver value by identifying, aggregating, and developing previously undervalued assets--people and systems, internal and external, public and private, scientific and technical--for exceptional impact.