Education is confronted by volatile economies, demographic trends,
public opinion, government support and commercial competition.
The issues facing higher education require more than employee
restructuring. These issues concern the relevance of university education
in tomorrow's world.
Universities have been educational holy grails for centuries.
Universities have been endowed by royalty, religions, governments and alumni,
and receive massive funding from research grants. All over the world, an
ever-increasing number of people compete for university education.
University education provides knowledge -
know what and know why.
Know how and know when is often
relegated to technical and vocational colleges. This single
fact may decrease the relevance of university education as
the gap widens between knowledge and competence.
University education, whether relevant or not, will remain
in demand as long as government regulations, professional
associations and hiring procedures require university
diplomas. Personal skills and abilities are less important
While university administrators may proclaim that
education is more important than research, they need enormous external
funding. Their faculty's primary value appears to be their ability to
attract funds. But any university administrator who publicly admits that
teaching is secondary to funded research would likely be replaced.
Modern universities can be perceived as luxuries of
energy-rich economies. Unless alternative long-term energy sources
are harnessed, those (and many other) luxuries will dwindle with
University and Commercial Discoveries
Since World War II, most important discoveries have been made
in commercial laboratories. The laser, the transistor, polio vaccine,
microchips, the hologram, the personal computer, nuclear magnetic
resonance, the CAT scan ... and more. Universities are not where
A university scientist wants to start a
project. Count the grant applications and weigh the paperwork. Count the
approvals needed for steering committees and assess the time waiting for answers.
Watch the politics to get the support of the department chairman and the
resources committee. Note the struggle to get work space, computer time and assistants.
Few commercial scientists need to squander so many precious resources.
The process of university education is not the halls
of academia, where people receive 5-10 years of education that consists primarily
of classroom lectures and library research.
Students know that they are unlikely to use more than 10% of what
they learn - and that most examinations only test whether they can
remember something long enough to repeat it. Later they find that 90%
of the knowledge that they need came from other sources than formal
education. University students are expected to jump through academic
hoops - to prove persistence - at the expense of life experience. Many
graduate students have limited social resources and problem-solving abilities.
Ruts are Graves
University tenure implies that time teaching a subject
improves the worth of the teacher. Tenure evaluation could focus on
skills development rather than on published articles and grants.
Expertise in abstract knowledge provides few employment opportunities
outside of academia, where such knowledge can be recycled to new
generations. But the real world expects - or demands - results.
Many academic fields have increasing competition. Computer
science, once an ivory tower specialty, has become almost synonymous
with self-education. Psychology has become a science of mediocrity -
an education in philosophy, history and statistics that must now compete
with self-help and popular therapies that provide emotional
control and success skills.
Following the rise of literacy and especially the rise of
internet access; academic knowledge (know-why and know-what) has
diminished in its sanctity. Technologies (know-how, know-which and
know-when) have become the keys to success..
Dr Clare Graves (a post-doc student of Dr. Abram Maslow)
postulated that human societies develop - and regress - in predictable ways;
and explored the values that shape human nature and drive evolutionary change.
Graves described eight value systems that provide a systemic frame for
predicting human dynamics. Each value system provides a plateau on the
mountain of human development.
. Graves 4-6
. Graves 7-9
Know-why and know-what are the domain of universities.
Know-how and know-which are the domain of technological colleges and trade
schools. An emerging choice is systemic education, which offers a synthesis of
academia and technology, in which academic know-why and technological know-how is
integrated and upgraded by
accelerated learning, expert modeling and systemic coaching:
- Accelerated learning - rapidly acquire new skills
- Expert modeling - rapidly replicate expert performance
- Systemic coaching - rapidly improve competence and innovation
Our systemic solutions explore how to select innovative
yet appropriate solutions and avoid expensive mistakes.
The left column indicates the thrust of
university education. The central column shows technical and vocational
schools, and the right outlines systemic education:
Systemic Education |
|Rooted in traditional assumptions
||Rooted in duplicating success
||Rooted in integrity |
|Individual differences are ignored
||Individual differences are blurred
||Individual differences are celebrated |
|Focus on understanding problems
||Focus on solving problems
||Focus on divergent qualities |
|Focus on examining the past
||Focus on acting now
||Focus on future consequences |
|Teacher's authority is position
||Teacher's authority is competence
||Teacher's authority is integrity |
|Focus on historical evidence
||Focus on current situations
||Focus on predictive accuracy |
|Focus on theoretical structure
||Focus on demonstrated skill
||Focus on creative flexibility |
|Assumes students need knowledge
||Assumes students need skills
||Assumes students need purpose |
|Focus on accumulating knowledge
||Focus on developing skills
||Focus on developing qualities |
|Gain acknowledgement through papers
||Gain acknowledgement through projects
||Gain acknowledgement through achievable visions |
|Ignores unconscious process
||Utilizes unconscious process
||Celebrates unconscious process |
|Skills serve to increase knowledge
||Knowledge serves to increase skills
||Knowledge and skills serve humanity |
|Internal solutions to understand situations
||External solutions to overcome barriers
||Systemic solutions that benefit humanity
. Knowledge Management
. Learning Disabilities
Establishments providing systemic education are rare. We use an educational
outline throughout our systemic training to replicate rapid skill acquisition.
- How to observe and describe systems
- Create hypotheses about connections between elements
- Create models of systemic elements and interactions
- Experiment to test the validity of hypotheses and models
- Formulate theories, laws and principals
- Apply theories, laws and principals to create systemic tools
- How to solve applied tasks using systemic tools
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