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Raising Economic Competitiveness with Education [microform] / Harry F. Silberman
Bib ID 5488675
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook
Silberman, Harry F
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1987 
19 p. 

The current school reform movement has been plagued by three false assumptions. The first of these postulates that more academic requirements will strengthen the minds of students, improve their reasoning, prepare them for a rapidly changing economy, and make the U.S. economy more competitive. Although it is true that the workers of the future will probably change occupations more often than now and will thus be better served by an educational system that places increased emphasis on basic skills, the task of increasing the competitiveness of the American work force will require more than education alone. More emphasis must be placed on developing a better match between talent and productivity needs, and on avoiding the pitfalls of allowing the U.S. economy to become dominated by services rather than goods-producing industries. The second assumption, i.e., that the future job market will require much more schooling than does today's labor market, is also flawed. Research on future labor market trends suggests that skill levels will probably remain fairly stable through the 1990s and that, in some cases, technological advances will actually reduce the number of skills required to perform certain jobs. Rather than providing more and higher levels of education, policymakers should strive to develop an educational system that is more flexible and requires more active participation by students. It is also false to assume that vocational education and intellectual development are mutually exclusive functions and that vocational education can be acquired much more efficiently as a separate short-term effort. The call to reform the country's educational system that was made in "The Unfinished Agenda" has had some positive effects, especially in the area of increased efforts to integrate vocational and academic education, and there are definite reasons to be optimistic about the future of America's educational system. (MN)


ERIC Note: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention (Las Vegas, NV, December 7, 1987).

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Change Strategies.  |  Economic Development.  |  Educational Change.  |  Educational Objectives.  |  Employment Patterns.  |  Labor Needs.  |  Postsecondary Education.  |  Program Improvement.  |  Secondary Education.  |  Vocational Education.  |  Unfinished Agenda (The)
Form/genre Speeches/Meeting Papers.  |  Opinion Papers.
Available From ERIC 


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