From School to Work

From School to Work

From School to Work

There is quite a great relationship between labor and learning. One has to pass through learning before they can move ahead to the job market. At times it seems difficult to get into the job market right from school. This is because life on a full-time job is totally different from the one led at school. However, there can be some pointers that can make the transition a little smoother. In this article, I will focus on the tensions that are there on the different views on the importance of going to school as well as the different factors universities should consider in their kind of education and what they should note before introducing learning schemes.

In the olden day, children learned all they needed to know about work at home. This is what was, then, referred to as informal education. Parents passed the skills they had in different kinds of work to their children. That shows that learning the skills was optional, and they had to volunteer. However, there were a few private schools and churches that taught such skills (Benson & Lyons, 2010).

Some people advocated for public learning even though they had several issues with them. The best thing about public learning is that it aided in straightening the morals of the learners and as well introduced religion to them (the youngsters). The children’s parents looked at the bigger picture of economic growth. They knew that by teaching their children how to work and gain new skills, they would be creating a generation ready to develop the economy of their region.

There are those who had the perception that for the regions close to each other to sail on the same economic boat, they had to join a particular commercial activity like their neighboring communities to ensure that they were not left behind. They also felt that they had to be in a particular race to improve their social status.

As much as formal education is important, informal education was considered very important. Even before the European contribution in learning, it was important to engage in the family kind of education that was viewed as an aid in building culture and traditions.  It played a major a role in enhancing physical and survival ways. Later on, parents would then send their children to mission education and industrial kind of training. In the industrial schools, youths were prepared to provide manual labor in industries and organizations. it was, however, just for primary application of manual labor and not professional for purposes.

In the late 19th century churches and families were known to be the main supporters for the children to learn. Many schools were public and this is because they received funding from the public. However, in some areas, there were issues in the schools because of difference in ethnicity and social classes.

In mid-19th century the government took over the powers to control and make rules for the schools. The impact of the community and the parents in the school management and contribution was weakened by the state. The state determined what was supposed to be learned by the students. However, school promoters tried to make the student see the political orders as natural by not only developing literacy but also producing students who would support the economic structures (Lyons, 2008, p.19).

Even though the students might have felt liberated by the new knowledge they had, the schools had achieved its aim of helping them have self-control. This is because the schools were seen as crucial instruments of coming up with new ideologies and that’s why the curriculum and the structure in the governing were necessary. In this case, the dominant group was involved in coming up with the social policies. They affected the growth of public schools, and this changed the governance and the curriculum even though they were not just established to make the learners suitable for employment.

In the early 20th century there were debates to challenge the traditional way of schooling. They considered changing the curriculum which would help in the change and maintain a stable condition. Some looked more into instilling traditional values arguing that the traditional schools advocated for competition while others didn’t go for the idea. Others said that cooperation was more helpful and this way it would lead to mini-democracy where the teacher would take the interest of the students while others were different. This went as far as some philosophers saying the traditional way was useless since it required a more practical way to meet the basic human needs. Hands-on skills such as carpentry and cookery were some of the activities they arguably wanted to have included. According to them they wanted education based on experience and made the society more democratic giving students more freedom and remain relevant by having self-direction in learning.

Education philosophies are known to depend on the historical periods, and this makes the progressivism more child-centered. However, the neoconservatives blame the progressivism for the morality ills in the education system now. Despite the criticism, the child-centered way has advanced to focusing on preparing students for the work and emphasizing on the necessary skills.

To some critics, the way children are prepared for the work is hidden. This calls for a curriculum to guide the teachers. curriculum is important since it entails rules and regulations to help students cope with interruptions and delays. The teachers convey values to the pupils, and this method is known to promote social control in the school and society. In the mid-20th century, the schools had the motive of producing students who meet the needs of the workplace.

Towards the end of the century, there were arguments that were meant to change the neo-conservative. This was set to bring a more relevant curriculum to the economic needs that are present and the reform movement looked more into testing and giving charters to schools. There was also neoliberal around the same time that wanted to reduce the government involvement having an emphasis on the market solutions on public service. This resulted in lesser funding from the government due to the privatization of most of the public services. This made the cost be met by the student individually. There was also a perception that public education was not giving basic work skills.

Around the same time, there was liberal reformism which combined socialism to individualism. This resulted to schools being seen as a means to select children for the provision of future workforce. This meant that the bright students would get top jobs, while their counterparts would serve them. To the society, this was seen to function in the interest and importance of the social welfare. The aspect of the social cohesion was that individual advancement of the student would be valued on achievement of the learning goal. However, there some limitations of this method since there is no assurance that it benefits the majority. it may favor the rich in the allocation of opportunities. The move may also disadvantage many other talented individuals. Finally, it leaves the social system dormant, and that makes the progress of the population very slow (Goodlad & MacMannon, 2009).

Despite the disadvantages, liberal reforms were independent of conservative politics, they were different from the neo-conservative method. This is because the neo-conservatives did not favour equality in the opportunities in education but more relevant curriculum to fit more into the market with less social studies. The human capital theory also changed as neoliberal method rose. Individual students were required to raise their human capital making them more suitable, and it was seen as being more of an individual investment.

In conclusion it very important to recognize that education is responsible for the changes in the economy structure. The main aim of the education is to meet the needs of the economy in the society setting, and this is significantly the influence education advancement is supposed to achieve to keep up with the economic changes. The perception of the importance of school has been explored not forgetting the political and social contributions in the same.



Essay two

Workplace learning to school

The use of prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) which is mostly standard in the adult training and mostly taken in by the universities. This article will focus on the PLAR and what it advocates to understand why the universities should take the method and the things they need to know more about in this method.

In most regions, it was necessary for the supervisors to hold a university degree and most of the organizations linked with colleges to help in the prior learning and then offer several credit courses. Most of the people in adult education are aware of the emphasis on learning at work. There are demands that learning at work is recognized in the tradition education. Of late many universities are taking in the PLAR program. However, they are faced with the question of how to have a fair assessment of the informal learning.

It is a growing method and has been picked up by many countries in the world. It has attracted the attention of many by its way of increasing access to the to the disadvantaged groups. Moreover, it attracts businessmen and politicians who see it as a way to turn the tradition adult education to meet the needs of the world outside. Since assessment has always been in classrooms the support of PLAR has raised some concerns such as its processes, knowledge transfer and the passing of critical and social purposes of the education which has to be of concern (Day, 2012).

The most common way of assessment is through the portfolio. However, there are other ways of doing it through challenge exams and skills demonstrated primary aim is to have recognition of the learning that is non-course and gained experimentally. It may be due to a result such as volunteering, family activities and company training. It has three assumptions that learning can be done significant outside classroom and should be evaluated by institutions that are educational based. It also assumes that education training that force adults in repeating are inefficient.

Considering that the main aim of the education is to explore knowledge, and this makes the importance of the formal education seem credential. This makes the people seeking PLAR recognition to be the only goal. In the formal educated a student can be known of what percent they know of the curriculum but the PLAR argue that they should be given the credit. The universities should pick the method of PLAR since it is known to foster democratic educational practices (Harris, 2013).

There has also been a question on how to view the PLAR; whether to be used as a skill or an exchangeable value. In the universities, the experiential learning can be useful on the course based learning and that explains the most accelerated courses such as the distance learning helps the students to draw prior knowledge. The method should also be known that it emphasizes on the specific skills rather than just understanding the theoretical insights about a particular sector.

For example, in the portfolio the students look more into the experience and redefining goals. The preparation of portfolio takes quite some time but not as much as the time taken in the course. However, assessing the portfolio is problematic since it may depend on the ability of the person to transform what has been learned into writing. However, the process of PLAR is not problematic because they focus on the technical questions. This shows how important it would be for the universities to pick it up. It is also known that the students are encouraged to match skills that have to their course outline, and this method can be useful to the workers to showcase their skills in cases of promotions (Andersson & Harris, 2011).

The method faces oppositions in the courses that are not applied, and this is because most of the traditional programs are non-instrumental and there the program is applicable it is easier to give generic course credits. However, the knowledge gained through the program could be limiting but with new work, the form requires new knowledge. The adult educators acknowledge the importance of adult experience, and it is about time that knowledge gained through work is recognized, and this is more of the reasons that the universities should take in the program. And this will avoid the culture of silence. This leads to the workers being able to improve the world since the primary concern is to make sure the courses are experientially based and not limited (Knapp, 2009).

As said earlier the prior learning is getting much support from the work places, and this has led to the unions argue that its members are undervalued. The employers are pushing for the program arguing that the training will be speeded up. This makes it a good thing if the universities take it to be among their programs. This would ensure that they produce graduates that are easily absorbed into the job market because they are directly significant.

However, the universities need to be aware of some issues before introducing the program. The university needs to know the contradictions that would be tolerable to them. They also need to understand who will be making the decisions on what counts and who does not regard the skills learned. It is also important that they know if the program will lead to a higher number of students or a lower and whichever it is would the university be able to keep up. However, they may be able to grant advanced credits to students to recognize that their knowledge is extensive.

In conclusion, universities play the largest role in meeting the needs of the global economy. They should, therefore, not limit the way through which knowledge is got but should mainly focus on the competence of the students they have to release to the job market. Every university should take pride in instilling the right skills to the young grown-ups.


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.

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. 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.