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post-secondary transition

An additional mandatory year after high school before entering college or the workplace
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(+2, -1)
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A way to offer clarity of purpose and a better defined career/academic path for students could involve an additional mandatory year after graduation of high school. The year would involve students entering into two or three varied work settings as an apprentice so as to sample what the "real world" version of their dream job might be like. The value of this could be in offering students an attempted view of life outside of school.
munkeylunk, Aug 06 2001

online postgrad careers chat today http://www.educationtalk.guardian.co.uk
from 4.00 UK time today (8th August), and there are lots of other education discussions [lewisgirl, Aug 06 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

something like in the oven... http://news.bbc.co....1478000/1478336.stm
also see link on the right "London children not 'monsters'" shocka! [lewisgirl, Aug 06 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       The universal kind was also instituted by the Chinese communist party, but not entirely at the same level or for the same purpose.
Monkfish, Aug 07 2001

       I can see the logic of giving kids a taste of reality before they get to go wild at university / college, or are dragged down into the mire of the nine-to-five, but I'm not sure that mandatory work experience won't just end up as another way to force kids into low-paid jobs while the companies that "employ" them rake in the kick-backs and enjoy the convenience of their new tea-boy. I've seen the abuses of government-funded work experience / youth training schemes from both sides, and it seemed pretty dodgy on the whole to me. Hmm, to fishbone or not to fishbone?
Guy Fox, Aug 07 2001

       Ohhh. Out of my depth. Well, this is actually exactly about me - Left school, went to university, went to another university. Have never had a job. (Well, a few months part-time in bars).
Were the well-adjusted people in my undergrad class the ones that had had a year out? Not necessarily - they just had stories about 'Goa, man, it was amazing, yeah that's where I got this genuine sharktooth neck string' and having a waaaaay cool totally stoned conversation with a bricklayer in Phnom Penh. (sp.?)
The ones who knew why they were here at university fell into two camps: those who had worked in the industry, whatever it was (amateur journalism, apprentice mechanical engineers) and knew they wanted to follow it; these had usually worked between school and uni and might even be getting some sponsorship from a company. The second group were those who were following a degree out of pure academic desire. Now I'm at my second university, with a completely different demographic of students, I recognise a third camp - wealthy kids at university because all their friends did, and it's a good way to find a spouse. Sad but true - what year is this again?
Outside those defined groups, I have no idea why the rest of us stuck at it - we didn't know why we were here, and we just followed the system, blindly turning up to lectures whether compos mentis or not, and like RT said: osmotically 'getting' it, over the course of three years.
I'm definitely in favour of something like this idea, aside from the 'mandatory' bit. It seems to me that there's a huge gulf between the wealth held in industry and the state funds for funding F/HE; in countries with non-state-funded education systems, the gulf exists I suppose between industrial wealth and the proportion that families and individuals are prepared to invest in education. I have long believed that there should be a far closer relationship between the two - that employers large and small should take personal interest in students, following them through their degree, keeping hold of them through work experience and perhaps giving them a source for their individual projects/dissertations. Not necessarily an exclusive relationship, and not mandatory. But everyone's a winner.
lewisgirl, Aug 07 2001

       Hm. Instead of expanding the learning period, I'd rather get rid of the underlying notion of entering an occupation and then staying in it for the rest of one's life. First you define yourself, then you just keep on going in the direction you found, back when you knew nothing? That scares me more than a few wasted years after school.   

       Can't we keep on learning, changing, with our past occupations illuminating the current ones from unique and interesting angles? (Yes, employers have an added overhead of constantly teaching; but they do get something back for it.)   

       [PeterSealy, I've changed it to "occupation", which I guess is mid-way between job and career. I think a career implies a vertical procession that I don't want, but you're right, "job" is more casual than what I mean.]
jutta, Aug 07 2001

       Glad this generated such a reaction. My guess is, if this is baked, someone left it in too long and it's now burnt, judging from the apparent passionate response.   

       Just as education is a process and not a goal in and of itself, this idea is malleable and will evolve as society does.   

       At this point in time, in my view, the education system has become way too ridgid either through societal ambivalence, corporate influence, or a combination of a jillion other heretofore untrackable factors. It seems opportunities for alternate paths may be available, but if they are, students don't seem to be taking advantage of them.
munkeylunk, Aug 07 2001

       Judging from what i`ve heard from various sources (journalists doing pieces about employers/ees, reading papers, talking to interviewers) i think it would be handy for people to spend a year, just before they leave school, learning to read, write and perform basic arithmetic. And maybe interviewing skills, writing cv`s or job application letters. Some employers actually get letters from people just stating that they want a job, and want to know what the pay/hours are like. (I live in England, btw!)
Pallex, Aug 07 2001

       Pallex: Baked. It's called an NVQ in Admin.
Guy Fox, Aug 07 2001

       I find it alarming that someone finds it necessary to suggest that people leaving high school need to go somewhere to learn how to read, write, and perform basic arithmetic, but I know that such is the case. I'm not pointing at anyone in particular (because the education system, rather than the uneducated, is largely to blame), but some of the posts in this forum prove this.
angel, Aug 08 2001

       Rods Tiger: //I really really think that further ed takes way too long, and this is related to my stance that as a people, us humans, or the western-civilised ones anyway, are absolutely shit at conveying knowledge and ability and skill from one to another. //   

       100% A+ agreement. The apparatus of teaching in university or 2-year college fills me with dread. As a 46-year-old perpetual learner, the idea of (yet again) sitting in a classroom listening to some maladroit thrash about the margins of a subject and then answer off-topic questions with elliptical comments is more than I can bear. Rrrgggh. Gimme a slightly snarky tech with a job to do and I'll learn from him. I'm too old to do the other thing.   

       [Guilty addendum: I have had *good* professors. I respect them immensely, and learned from them an immense amount. So the above rant needs many grains of salt.]
Dog Ed, Aug 08 2001

       This is a great idea-- for some people. I wish I had done it; in fact, I did, by taking a year off in the middle of college. But the right time is after secondary school, so as to break the headlong momentum into channeled careers that consume the person for far too long before being questioned. There are always the people who seem to have known exactly what they want to do with their lives since about age five, and can't wait to get on with it. On their account, I don't think the program of nonacademia should be mandatory, but it should be an institutional option. Moreover, some students have worked all their lives and know what it's like. They also get a pass, unless they want to try something new. The prime beneficiaries probably would be kids whose enterprise has been directed by social set, religion, family, laziness, or other sheltering principles.
hagfish, Aug 08 2001

       "Gimme a slightly snarky tech with a job to do and I'll learn from him."   

       That and a really good book or two on the subject. Unfortunately, such books are a rarity.
bristolz, May 12 2002


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