ERIC Number: ED362221
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-26
Reference Count: N/A
Shaping the Curriculum: Values, Community, and a Global Economy.
Terrey, John N.
Five major trends are shaping curricula in two-year colleges today, including clear shifts in emphasis from teaching to learning; from the college degree as a terminal point to learning as a lifelong activity; from solitary instruction to learning communities; from management to leadership; and from a national economy to a global economy. The importance of this last trend cannot be overstated. Nationally, the transformation from a high-volume production economy to a service-oriented economy has meant the loss of a comfortable life-style for millions of Americans. Today, one of the fastest growing segments of the American workforce is what Robert Reich calls the "symbol analyst." The symbol analyst identifies, solves, and brokers problems. The four skills required of symbol analysts, which have implications for curricular development, are abstraction, systems thinking, experimentation, and collaboration. Abstraction is the very essence of symbolic analysis. In seeking causes, the whole becomes the focus, not the parts. Systems thinking calls on students to understand how problems arise, and not to merely seek solutions. Experimentation equips a learner to become independent, while collaboration is a requisite to the teamwork of symbol analysts. While these four basic skills make it possible to carry learning forward from the collegiate setting to the workplace, a sense of values will be essential to prevent symbol analysts from seceding from society and forming enclaves of privilege. (PAA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Economic Trends
Note: Speech delivered in Richland, WA, April 26, 1991.