For years, our education system has focused largely on route memorization as the key towards advancement. Success in academics - all the way up to the college undergraduate level - has been largely determined by the ability to recite pre-determined answers on in-class examinations.
According to a group of leading educators in higher education in attendance at a Communities Foundation of Texas event, the increasingly dynamic nature of the modern job market and rising global competition is rendering the skillset produced by the current education system obsolete. The current system, according to the group, is tremendously inadequate in equipping students with the tools they need to compete in the modern job market.
According to this group of leading educators, in order for graduates to compete on the global stage, higher education will need to adjust its main objectives towards encouraging creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship within their college curricula. Ronald T. Brown, the president of the University of North Texas at Dallas, comments that it is now the perfect time to start transforming the current methods of higher education and advance its approaches for the 21st century.
Producing Entrepreneurial, Independently-Minded ThinkersOnce accredited with the University of North Texas at Denton, the University of North Texas at Dallas has recently received accreditation as a separate entity by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Brown expects to take advantage of this opportunity for independence by re-inventing their classroom teaching strategies and supporting the ideal of innovation with definitive action. Instead of producing cookie-cutter graduates who never stray from thinking outside the box, Brown endeavors to encourage educators within the university to make serious efforts to boost student's independent thinking, and to foster new and improved methods of educating future generations.
President of the University of Texas at Dallas, David E. Daniel, also joined in the event to discuss his ideas on molding students capable of tackling the dynamic job market and shaking up the current status quo. Rather than simply implementing a higher education curriculum through rote memorization, Daniel supports the objective of engaging students by immersing them within creativity-driven, practically-oriented experiences; producing students with superior abilities for memorization is not an effective strategy for helping students compete in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced global market. David Daniel proclaims that the main key to the continued success of the education ecosystem in America, will be through the nurturing of our upcoming genereation's creative talent.
No Easy SolutionFelix Zamora, the acting president at Mountain View College within the Dallas Community College system, weighs in on the discussion by stating that there is no "silver bullet" that will perfectly amend the bleak situation in education today. Higher education needs to take a detail look into the teaching processes and curriculum being used to educate students at the cellular level. Zamora expects that this is the only method for truly discovering what is wrong and how to innovate for the future.
In fact, research studies indicate that these leading educators may be on the right track in encouraging students towards entrepreneurship and independent thinking. Economists Yona Rubinstein and Ross Levine conducted a recent study using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey to determine the specific demographic traits that increased the likelihood of individual success in business. Published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the study found that those more likely to build successful careers in businesses were those that were not afraid to bend some rules and push the boundaries for innovation.