A Modern Vocational Curriculum

15+ When I wrote Starry Eyes and Starry Skies a few weeks back, I made the argument that adequ
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Andrew Meyer
Andrew Meyer
1 year ago

Interesting selection. You might be interested to know that something very similar (https://lambdaschool.com/) already exists. I have no association with them, other than working with some graduates and recommending people send their kids there as opposed to University. There are a couple of changes:
1. Students pay no tuition until the graduate and get a job that pays $50K plus/year.
2. The annual amount they pay is charged as a percentage of their salary and is capped both in what’s paid in a year (I think around $17K) and in total (I think its around $30).
3. There is testing to get in.
4. It is based around software engineering.
5. The program takes 9 months to complete.
6. Lambda school is incentivized to get the students jobs, though there is more demand for graduates than there are graduates.

I can attest that their graduates are excellent.

Peter
Peter
1 year ago

Does this mean Delta House gets off double secret probation?

Mike Hanlon
Mike Hanlon
1 year ago

I previously taught economics, statistics and related courses at a R1 university, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. When I reflect on the experience, I feel guilt at how pointless it all was, in pretty much every respect. The objective wasn’t to develop better people, citizens or professionals, so it’s no surprise that didn’t happen. Rather, the only person who really benefited from the whole exercise was me, as teaching that content was a necessary step in my academic career. The students were fodder for a tenure application.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve hired recent graduates into technical and semi-technical roles. On average, the skills they’ve developed as university students don’t add value in the short run. As a result, they get paid a lot less than they would be paid otherwise. Certainly it’s not a new dynamic for new hires to learn, create value and earn pay raises over time. Yet in a world in which students incur significant debt to study at universities, it’s acerbic that curricula undermine their ability to add value, and thus pay off the debt.

This “what’s your curriculum?” is a fun exercise, and as a parent, I guess it’s useful to think about how to advise high-school-aged kids on their next steps. Yet from a societal point of view, it feels quixotic to challenge the status quo in higher education. I don’t see any mechanism to disrupt it. If someone does, then please don’t keep that insight to yourself.

Ampf
Ampf
1 year ago

I’m all for everyone working in the food service industry, but not at places like the picture above portrays. I bet the cops haven’t been called to that place even once in the last six months over a “disturbance” – and that is the experience you need: working with people that are disturbed.

M P
M P
1 year ago

These selections are quite skewed toward finance. I’ve always thought the bent should be more in this direction.
https://fs.blog/2013/10/great-books/

cartoox
cartoox
1 year ago

I believe the spirit of the idea here is absolutely correct and overdue. This is the future direction we need to take education in…..
I’ll more comments over time but here is one from the comics I found cool :

Bruce Wayne – in his quest to develop abilities beyond the normal man he is– goes to different universities and academies and all kinds of strange esoteric fighting schools – to learn what he needs to become the Batman….he never stuck around to get a diploma or a degree in any one place….

cartoox
cartoox
1 year ago

I’ll add an anecdote from my earlier years…..I knew a Burmese family that was rather wealthy – the men told me that as part of their social education, they had to spend one month as Buddhist monks , and beg for food on the streets every day . Regardless of the fact that they lived in big houses with multiple servants or that their parents drove expensive European cars.
The idea – to teach them humility ……
Of course, they cheated by asking friends and relatives to give them food every day but I thought the original concept – humility – was a good one.

cartoox
cartoox
1 year ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

That’s a great reply Rusty, Thanks.

You’re right, those qualities we learn from living life. Attempts to teach us by synthetically modeling them in a monitored environment is just a con to get us to conform to some closed form social algorithm

Nicholas Allen
Nicholas Allen
1 year ago

Concur completely, and the one you expect pushback on is the one I want to second. More important than limits, integrals, rates of change, and graph construction is the development of the ability to learn new and difficult things. Every chapter in a math book teaches something new about how to learn and how the world works.

Personal story: when I started dating her aunt, my (now) niece was about 8. I took shameless advantage of my halo effect and plugged focusing on math through school. I told her that being the best at math in her crappy New Mexico public school might set her up to not fail in a difficult college program that gets her freedom from her crummy family situation. Well, she’s currently accepted as a petroleum engineering major, so I guess we get to see whether she worked hard enough.

On the rest of the recommendations, I’ll let you know in about 18 years how it all turned out. My kids will definitely be proficient in all those things before they ‘graduate’ from our homeschooling curriculum. Thanks for the concise list.

Anthony Borski
Anthony Borski
1 year ago

Fully agree on the food service job. I worked in every role of a small, high end restaurant in college and it dramatically changed my life. I wish more of my current coworkers had that experience.

Anthony Borski
Anthony Borski
1 year ago
Reply to  Anthony Borski

P.S. Do not order the soup 😉

Nick
1 year ago

I’m expecting elite universities will be around for a LONG time as human nature will ensure a social system / pecking order. However, there are ways of maintaining the elite university credentialing through an ‘education reform’. I do not find it by chance the narrative being introduced via the U.S. Department of Education MOU with the Swiss: https://blog.ed.gov/2018/12/fast-facts-about-swiss-apprenticeship/

Barry Rose
Barry Rose
1 year ago

Rusty – there are probably a half-dozen credible on-line university programs that could take your Fast Track Finance program for motivated individuals and run with it. With existing infrastructure, it seems to be the ideal place for real change to begin. Ever consider consulting with them?

Howard Wetsman
1 year ago

I could quibble in detail and pick nits around the edges, but my first reaction is that I wish that had been there for me. This would change the world, and it got me wanting to start a school.

Philip
Philip
1 year ago

We gave our daughter an allowance when she was in school. She complained it wasn’t enough. I told her the instant solution was to get a job, which she did. The two years she served tables coincided with her best grades. A regular customer became a reference that helped her land her first job. She will tell you her job was a second education.

We’ve created an educational trust for grandkids – but the kicker is they have to show evidence that they work to get any money from the trust. The requirements reinforce our family’s values instead of allowing the grandchildren to avoid them.

Taternuts
Taternuts
1 year ago

I agree with everything here, and I’d add a fourth quarter to make it a full year program.

Quarter 4, Module 1: Personal Finance – Saving and Investing
-Retirement accounts and compound interest
-Budgeting
-Investing basics, active vs passive, ETFs, spotting snake oil
-Taxes

Quarter 4, Module 2: Personal Finance – Credit
-Loans and credit
-Rent vs Buy for shelter
-Leases

Quarter 4, Module 3: Nutrition and Fitness
-Value of physical fitness to life quality
-Strategies to build physical fitness into life
-Building a nutrition plan
-Basic cooking techniques

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