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ERIC Number: ED561285
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Let's Get Real: Deeper Learning and the Power of the Workplace. Deeper Learning Research Series. Policy Bulletin
Hoffman, Nancy
Jobs For the Future
In the United States, we tend to assume that young people should become educated and then go to work, as though the two were entirely separate stages of life. This dichotomy blinds us to the fact that work itself can be a powerful means of education-giving students opportunities to apply academic subject matter to real-world problems, and pushing adolescents to grow up and gain other deeper learning skills such as following difficult assignments through to completion, working in teams, solving unscripted problems, and communicating effectively with colleagues of differing ages and backgrounds. In the paper "Let's Get Real: Deeper Learning and the Power of the Workplace," author Nancy Hoffman argues that the current discussion about deeper learning in the nation's high schools ought to acknowledge that career readiness isn't just an outcome of the K-12 curriculum but a process- often overlapping with academic studies-through which young people learn deeply and prepare for working life. Hoffman makes the case that current federal, state, and local policies could be updated to incentivize and enable work-based learning opportunities and alignment between expectations for success in education and success in the workplace. Greatly diminished youth employment opportunities in today's labor market make work-based learning opportunities connected to educational pathways more critical than ever. Hoffman contends that there are models of high-quality work-related education in many states, some promoted through national initiatives and networks, others impressive "one off" schools and programs, as well as vocational or career and technical education, or CTE, schools and centers. The problem is that such excellent programs and schools currently serve only a relatively small number of students. And the question is: can these excellent models be further scaled up and their approaches refined and adapted in our many comprehensive high schools? Can the U.S. develop a system that promotes career education? Hoffman argues that there are several policy opportunities that could make this goal a reality. [This policy bulletin is based on a report published by Students at the Center, an initiative of Jobs for the Future. For the full report, see ED561286; for the executive summary, see ED561289.]
Jobs for the Future. 88 Broad Street 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-728-4446; Fax: 617-728-4857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland; United States