ERIC Number: ED332054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Jun
What Work Requires of Schools. A SCANS Report for America 2000.
Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills.
The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) examined the demands of the workplace and whether young people were capable of meeting those demands. Specifically, SCANS determined the level of skills required to enter employment. Fundamental changes in the nature of work were identified; these changes were found to hold implications for the kinds of workers and workplaces the nation must create. The research verified that "workplace know-how" defined effective job performance. This know-how had two elements: competencies and foundation skills. To describe how this know-how is used on the job, five scenarios were developed that portray work requirements in the context of the real world. The scenarios came from five sectors of the economy: manufacturing, health services, retail trade, accommodations and food service, and office services. They showed that work involved a complex interplay among five competencies (resources, interpersonal, information, systems, and technology) and three elements of the foundation (basic skills, thinking skills, and personal qualities). A proficiency scale with five levels was proposed: preparatory, work-ready, intermediate, advanced, and specialist. Three major conclusions were reached: (1) all U.S. high school students must develop the competencies and foundation skills; (2) the high performance qualities of the most competitive companies must become the standard for most companies; and (3) the nation's schools must become high performance organizations. (A letter to parents, employers, and educators and an executive summary are provided. Appendixes include definitions of the competencies and the foundation.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Basic Skills, Career Education, Competence, Educational Responsibility, Employment Potential, Futures (of Society), Individual Characteristics, Interpersonal Relationship, Job Performance, Job Skills, Labor Force Development, Outcomes of Education, Role of Education, Secondary Education, Standards, Thinking Skills, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Parents; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills.
IES Cited: ED450252