From School to Work Essay Example
From School to Work Essay Example

From School to Work Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2097 words)
  • Published: October 7, 2021
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There is a significant correlation between labor and learning. Prior to entering the job market, one must undergo the process of learning. Sometimes, transitioning directly from school to the job market may appear challenging.

Life on a full-time job is completely distinct from the one experienced at school. Yet, there are some tips that can facilitate the transition. In this article, I will address the conflicts surrounding the significance of attending school and the various factors universities should take into account in their educational approaches, as well as what they should consider before implementing new learning methods. In the past, children acquired practical knowledge about work within the household, commonly known as informal education.

Parents willingly passed on their skills in various occupations to their children, suggesting that learning these skills was not compulsory but


voluntary. Nevertheless, a few private schools and churches did offer instruction in these skills (Benson & Lyons, 2010). Despite some concerns, there were individuals who supported public education. An advantage of public learning was its positive influence on the students' moral development and the introduction of religious teachings to the young learners. The parents of these children considered the bigger picture of economic progress.

They understood that by teaching their children how to work and acquire new skills, they would be cultivating a generation prepared to bolster the economy of their area. Some believed that in order for neighboring regions to advance economically together, they needed to engage in a specific commercial activity, mirroring the practices of nearby communities to ensure they did not fall behind. There was also a perception that they had to compete in a certain race to elevate thei

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social status. While formal education held importance, informal education was highly regarded as well. Even prior to European influence on education, participating in familial educational practices was seen as beneficial in cultivating culture and traditions. It played a significant role in enhancing physical and survival skills.

Parents later sent their children to mission education and industrial training schools, where they were taught manual labor skills for industries and organizations. However, this training was limited to basic manual labor rather than professional development. Churches and families played a significant role in supporting children's education during the late 19th century, with many of these schools being public due to funding received from the general public.

Nevertheless, within certain regions, schools faced challenges related to ethnic and social class disparities. By the mid-19th century, the government assumed control over school administration and regulation. As a result, the influence of the community and parents in school management and contribution diminished as the state dictated the curriculum for students.

Despite promoting literacy and knowledge, school promoters also aimed to create students who would support the existing economic structures, thus making the political orders appear natural (Lyons, 2008, p.19). Although the students may have initially felt empowered by their newfound knowledge, the ultimate objective of the schools was to instill self-control in the students. This was achieved by using the schools as instruments for developing new ideologies, which necessitated a certain curriculum and governing structure. The dominant group played a significant role in shaping social policies and influenced the growth of public schools. As a result, both the governance and curriculum were altered, not solely for the purpose of preparing learners for employment.


the early 20th century, debates emerged to challenge the traditional schooling approach. There were discussions about altering the curriculum as a means to facilitate change and maintain stability. Some proponents advocated for instilling traditional values, arguing that traditional schools emphasized competition. However, not everyone supported this idea. Others believed that cooperation was more beneficial and would lead to a mini-democracy in which teachers would prioritize students' interests, while others held differing opinions.

Certain philosophers argued that the conventional method of education was ineffective as it failed to address fundamental human necessities, such as hands-on skills like carpentry and cooking. Instead, these philosophers advocated for an experiential-based education which would enhance democracy in society by granting students greater autonomy and self-directed learning opportunities. Throughout history, educational philosophies have varied, with progressivism being recognized for its emphasis on learner-centered instruction.

However, neoconservatives attribute the moral problems in the education system today to progressivism. Despite this criticism, the focus has shifted from a child-centered approach to preparing students for the workforce and emphasizing essential skills. Some critics argue that the preparation for work is not transparent enough, necessitating a curriculum for teachers to follow. A curriculum is crucial as it provides guidelines and regulations for students to handle interruptions and delays. Additionally, teachers impart values to students, which is seen as a means to promote social control in both school and society.

In the mid-20th century, schools aimed to produce students who were suited for the workplace. As the century neared its end, there were debates regarding changing the neo-conservative approach. The purpose was to create a curriculum that was more aligned with current economic needs. The reform movement focused on

testing and granting charters to schools. Around this time, there was also a neoliberal movement that sought to decrease government intervention, favoring market solutions for public services. Consequently, government funding diminished due to the privatization of many public services.

The individual student was responsible for covering the cost. Additionally, public education was perceived as inadequate in providing essential job skills. Concurrently, there was a movement combining socialism and individualism called liberal reformism. As a result, schools were viewed as a means of selecting children for future employment. Consequently, the brightest students would obtain prestigious positions while others would serve them.

To the society, this was perceived as functioning in the interest and importance of social welfare. The concept of social cohesion meant that the individual progress of the student would be valued based on achieving the learning goal. However, there are limitations to this approach as it does not guarantee benefits for the majority and may favor the wealthy in access to opportunities. Moreover, it could disadvantage many other talented individuals, ultimately impeding the progress of the population and leaving the social system stagnant (Goodlad ; MacMannon, 2009).

Despite their drawbacks, liberal reforms differed from conservative politics and the neo-conservative approach. Neo-conservatives did not prioritize equal opportunities in education; instead, they emphasized a curriculum that aligned with market demands, reducing the importance of social studies. As the neoliberal approach gained popularity, changes also occurred in the human capital theory. This theory highlighted students' individual efforts to improve their human capital, viewing it as an individual investment. Ultimately, it is important to recognize that education plays a fundamental role in shaping the economy's structure.

The main purpose of education is

to meet the economic needs of society and keep up with changes in the economy. The significance of education advancement in achieving this goal has been explored, including its political and social contributions.

Workplace learning to school

One method that promotes adult training and is commonly practiced in universities is prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR). This article will focus on PLAR and its advocacy for universities to adopt this method, as well as the necessary information they should know about it.

In most regions, supervisors needed to have a university degree and organizations often collaborated with colleges to facilitate prior learning and provide credit courses. Many people in adult education understand the importance of workplace learning, and there are calls for it to be acknowledged in traditional education systems. Recently, numerous universities have implemented the PLAR program, although they face the challenge of fairly assessing informal learning. This approach is gaining popularity worldwide.

The way in which it increases access for disadvantaged groups has grabbed the attention of many. Furthermore, it is also appealing to businessmen and politicians who view it as a means to transform traditional adult education to better suit the needs of the outside world. While PLAR has received support from the classroom setting, there are concerns regarding its processes, knowledge transfer, and the preservation of critical and social educational purposes, all of which should be taken into consideration (Day, 2012). The portfolio method is the most commonly used form of assessment, but there are other alternatives such as challenge exams and skills demonstrations. The main goal is to ensure recognition of non-course, experiential learning.

The text suggests that learning can occur outside of the classroom

through activities such as volunteering, family activities, and company training. It emphasizes three assumptions: 1) learning outside the classroom should be recognized and assessed by educational institutions, 2) repetitive education training for adults is ineffective, and 3) the main goal of education is to acquire knowledge, making formal education credentials more important. This leads to the argument that the only goal for individuals seeking PLAR recognition is to receive credit for their knowledge, as traditional education only measures a student's understanding of the curriculum.

According to Harris (2013), universities should adopt the PLAR method due to its promotion of democratic educational practices. There has been a debate on whether PLAR should be viewed as a skill or as an exchangeable value. In universities, experiential learning can complement course-based learning, particularly in accelerated courses like distance learning, as it helps students apply their prior knowledge. It is important to note that this method focuses on developing specific skills rather than solely understanding theoretical insights in a particular field. For instance, in portfolios, students delve into their experiences and redefine their goals. While preparing a portfolio does require some time, it is not as time-consuming as completing a course.

Assessing the portfolio and the process of PLAR both have their challenges. The portfolio assessment can be problematic as it relies on the individual's ability to effectively articulate their knowledge in writing. On the other hand, the PLAR process is not problematic as it focuses on technical questions. This highlights the significance of universities adopting PLAR. Additionally, students are encouraged to align their skills with their course outline, which can be beneficial for workers looking to showcase their abilities for

promotions (Andersson ; Harris, 2011).

The opposition to the method arises in non-applied courses because many traditional programs lack practicality and therefore offer generic course credits where applicable. However, the program's knowledge may be restrictive, necessitating new knowledge with changing work practices. Adult educators understand the value of adult experience, and it is high time that work-based knowledge is acknowledged. This is one of the reasons why universities should embrace the program to prevent a culture of silence.

This results in workers being able to improve the world as the primary emphasis is on making sure that the courses are hands-on and not restricted (Knapp, 2009). As mentioned previously, previous learning is gaining extensive support from workplaces, leading unions to argue that their members are undervalued. Employers are endorsing the program by stating that it will accelerate training. Hence, it would be advantageous for universities to incorporate it into their programs. This would ensure the creation of graduates who can seamlessly integrate into the job market because of their immediate applicability.

Before universities implement a program, they need to consider several factors. These include recognizing the contradictions they can tolerate and determining who will be responsible for deciding which skills are relevant. Furthermore, universities should assess whether the program will affect student enrollment positively or negatively and if they have the capacity to accommodate any changes.

Universities have the potential to grant advanced credits to students in recognition of their extensive knowledge. They play a crucial role in meeting the needs of the global economy and should not restrict the acquisition of knowledge, but rather focus on ensuring that students possess the necessary skills for the job market. Every

university should take pride in equipping young adults with the appropriate skills.


  1. Benson, N., & Lyons, R. (2010). Controversies over the purposes of schooling and the meaning of work: Selected readings in the history of American education. Lanham Md.: University Press of America.
  2. Lyons, R. (2008). Struggles over the purposes of schooling in a democratic state: Selected readings in the history of American education. Lanham, Md. u.a.: Univ.

The Press of America.

  • Goodlad, J. I., & MacMannon, T. J. (2009). The public purpose of education and schooling. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Day, M.
  • (2012). Assessment of prior learning: A practioner's guide. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

  • Andersson, P., ; Harris, J. (2011). Re-theorizing the recognition of prior learning. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).
  • Knapp, J. E.
  • (2009). Financing and implementing prior learning assessment. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

  • Harris, J. (2013). The recognition of prior learning: Power, pedagogy, and possibility: conceptual and implementation guides. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.
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