Passionate. Cooperative. Always learning. Creative. Hard-working. Team player. Inquisitive.
On and on they went (not as many –ing words as I might have expected from several hundred ING employees!) These were the qualifications for someone they would hire to work with them at one of the world’s leading financial management companies (which is also a major supporter of the Teacher of the Year program and other education programs.)
After a dozen such wonderful adjectives, I finally had to ask, “what about knowledge? Knowledge of markets, of analysis, of tax law?”
The two main responses: “Oh, knowledge should be a given,” and “Specific knowledge can be easily learned by a person with these other qualities.”
Fairly astute observations that these business people made about education and what we should be more formally valuing in our students! I think when we have a more balanced approach from our leadership, we find that these qualities begin to emerge from our students on a more regular basis and more consistently across the demographic gaps. Not only would it be better preparation for our students as corporate workers in the 21st century, but as global citizens, too. Perhaps we ought to listen more carefully to some of our major stakeholders, and less to our educational traditions.