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ERIC Number: EJ1102545
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-8566
Training 21st-Century Workers: Facts, Fiction and Memory Illusions
Abadzi, Helen
International Review of Education, v62 n3 p253-278 Jun 2016
Technological achievements require complex skills for the workplace, along with creativity, communication, and critical thinking. To compete effectively in the global economy, governments must provide their citizens with relevant education and training. To help close the skills gap, international agencies often advise governments of developing countries to de-emphasise basic knowledge and focus instead on complex cognition and systemic improvements. However, the donors' advice may be due to memory biases of highly educated people. Such training strategies would fail most students, because complex skills are built by combining and automatising shorter chains of thoughts or behaviours. An effective training process requires much practice, feedback and rearrangement of subcomponents over time. Execution of various tasks must become automatic and effortless to avoid using up too much of the very limited capacity of what is termed the "working memory." Marketable skills are those skills which are fluently performed without excessive cognitive load. To provide complex skills for all, including non-cognitive skills, curricula should therefore first ensure detailed instruction and practice of basic components which can then be strung together and applied to new tasks. Policy advisers seem unaware of these scientific insights, so they are not taken into account. The article reviews the essential neurocognitive functions involved in the acquisition and execution of skills chains. The author concludes that to improve the skills of economically disadvantaged populations, donors and governments must acquire expertise and offer advice on the basis of cognitive science.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A