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Opportunity First versus Academics First

Qualifications before Experience 

I am a captain of a tall ship and I want to take all of you sailing with me. You must first meet predefined qualifications before you are allowed aboard. They are as follows:

  1. Must know how to read a compass.
  2. Must know how to read a chart.
  3. Must know how to plot a course.
  4. Must know how to plot a position.
  5. Must know celestial navigation.

All of these subjects can be learned in classrooms. When you take these courses and receive a passing grade, then you can sail with me aboard a tall ship.

Do I hear complaints?

This is standard education procedures. All sailors must reach a predefined skill level before they are allowed to have real world experience.

Why are you walking away?

If you want to sail you must comply to the rules. The rules are for your benefit, they qualify you for the experience.

If they still keep walking away, try name-calling. You are a dummy!... You are a failure!... You will be sorry some day!...

If all else fails, try reasoning. If you play by the rules, we will give you a certificate showing you have met classroom standards and are qualified to step aboard a tall ship.


Computer Crashers

As I write this, news headlines read, "Teenage boys in England  breaks' into e-commerce computers and steal hundreds of credit card numbers, then post them on the Internet."  Two week later, "A teenage boy in Canada writes a virus that crashes e-commerce sites causing millions of dollars in losses." Shortly after that, "A teenager in Asia writes a virus that crashes e-mail sites around the world in a matter of hours."

In every case, someone went on TV news and said these teenagers are not very bright. The footprints show a lack of programming and grammar skills. Therefore, it is assumed, these teenagers are high school dropouts. Because they did not play by the formal education rules they can't succeed, is the implication.

These teens committed a criminal act that requires a great deal analytical and technical intelligence. These are wiz kids. Society and the education system does not want to recognize their skills because they believe there is no achievement without academics FIRST!

Our society is depending heavily on technical ability and the system is rejecting those that are best qualified to meet the need. There is something wrong with the system when highly analytical and technical talented people are put in jail because society says they must follow traditional academic standards first.

Weak Links

Students enter technical colleges because they want to develop a professional skill and they realize their academics are their weak link. When they apply, many do not know what their natural talent is and they are searching. Colleges may offer talent test, but test results does not convince students what motivates them, they need experience to discover that.

Because of traditional policies, the education system will not offer hands-on experience until students comply to academic standards first, their weak link. Trying to develop weak links without motivation is next to impossible. Many give up and walk away from the system. Many of these people would be super efficient technicians, if given motivating opportunity.

Weak links can be developed, but it takes powerful motivation. Hands-on experience first can supply that motivation.

Education policy is the reason why a high percent of today's blue-collar professionals started at the bottom as helpers. More information.

Alternatives Need to be Offered

The formal education requires all teenagers to embrace academics first. When they meet academic standards, then they are offered opportunity to learn technical skills. This is not workable for everyone. Society needs to realize that everyone's method of learning is different. Students will excel if teaching methods are in harmony with students natural talents and interest. This is why home schooling is so successful, a parent learns their child's interest, what works and does not work, then they focus on learning methods that motivate. As a result, home schooled students develop a love to learn. In the classroom, interest and learning methods are out of harmony, which creates a dislike to learning. A dislike to learning in the adult world limits capabilities, even with a college education.

People, whose ideas changed the way we live, have always been in conflict with classroom environments. Innovators are not "A" students, they do not accept the classroom formula for success. Nine American Presidents never went to college. How did they learn the skills needed to be President? They educated themselves! They were free of status quo pressures! This is the secret behind Abraham Lincoln's success; he was not pre-programmed in classroom environments. 

Team education is another powerful learning tool. Peer influence motivates team members to be the best they can. The military uses this method during wartime when there is little time for training. The military does not spend time measuring the results of each individual, they measure the results of the team. On the battlefield, teenagers can performed highly skilled tasks that take years of training in a civilian environment. On the Internet, teenagers are the leaders of e-commerce. Teenagers started Microsoft Corporation; they used the power of intuitive education to supply information where facts were missing.

Why is it perceived that college graduates assume responsibility and others don't? College employees are put in a team environment where that have opportunity to share knowledge. The sharing of knowledge increases knowledge for everyone in the team while developing responsibility skills with a commitment to reach a common goal. Motivation is high. Anyone at any education level who is in a team that shares knowledge and decisions will produce the same attitudes. The problem is, non-college employees are put in an environment where they only take orders. Taking orders without input produces the opposite effect, a lack of responsibility with a lack of motivation. Lack of opportunity to be a team player creates the impression that non-college people can't learn or assume responsibility.

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