If you’re in Education, Training or even the business of education and training, does it not strike you as odd that although the market for the provision of such services is saturated, there is STILL such a huge need in all sectors?
For me the logic seems simple enough: 1 + 1 = 2 – need the skills, get the skills, use the skills. But why then, is this formula not so evident in the market place? Why is there still such huge gaps in the useage of skills? Is it a perception? What exactly IS the reality?
The set-up of a skills ‘system’ into which and from which all skills-related activities are drawn is an admirable activity. There are positives to having some kind of universal framework that can categorise, quantify, qualify and manage all the ‘noise’ that goes on within the world of skills and training. The negative, however, is that such frameworks that are meant to represent human activities are certainly not flexible enough to take cognisance of the fact that we are human, and as such, we are fallible, i.e. our knowledge is incomplete…
So, if our knowledge is always incomplete, how are we then expected to act and react within a ‘complete’ framework? The truth is, we shouldn’t. Any framework can certainly ‘regulate’ skills but should not regulate ‘learning’. Frameworks make the mistake of categorising and processing and controlling TOO much…learning is a personal, reactive, relative experience and should be treated as such.
Assessments are huge culprits in making judgements on the wrong things: they judge and qualify learning instead of ability. There is too much emphasis on the process of achieving that ability than on the ability itself. If we ever hope to ‘balance’ the market and effectively produce skilled, accountable people then we need to ensure our ‘framework’ of thinking about learning, actually becomes a framework of Learning to Think: a framework of the constant question and not one of definitive answers.