How do better students benefit society? The answer to this question addresses the standards educational systems and the instructors within them use to cultivate the students. There are a lot of incentives for teaching students to be their best possible. It is the adherence to rules and regulations. It is the understanding of what the instructor expects and delivering on the teaching objectives. At the end of the day the student has learned compliance in the academic setting which can be transferred to the work place, which is a good thing. After all once a student leaves the educational spectrum he or she enters the workforce on some level and capacity. The workforce is comprised of varying sets of rules and regulations which new employees must learn to adopt and even master. Therefore, reinforcing student standards is a good measuring device as it helps to transition students into what he or she will continue to do for most of his or her life, which is work. So this process works, correct?
There is no need to implement another standard if what we have works. That may be true but we do not use this same method of thinking when it comes to the vehicles we drive. Why stick with the 2001 when the 2012 is more efficient, eco friendly and has higher safety standards? We also do not keep this reasoning or acceptance when it comes to our food. That fried chicken might taste good, but we have come to know that the baked chicken will allow you to live a little longer. Better yet, who wants to eat the same mundane recipes when the chef that works at a certain bistro knows how to make the kitchen come alive?
Our educational standard should be no different. So the question is what is a higher standard than being the best student possible? It could be the employee standard or maybe it is teaching students how to be great employees. In some cases even prodigious entrepreneurs. A better way to put it is to take the standards that help to develop and train a good employee and use those same standards for the student. Exercising employee standards still falls short. Employee standards still reinforce basic compliance and an employee must be compliant. The more compliant an employee is to the rules the better the employee. So the question is raised, “Is that what we are after?” this compliance. Student instruction must include an entire spectrum of understanding. The standards of a good student allow for one level of understanding and the standards for a good employee is another level of understanding. But there is one more level and that includes the standards set for a professional.
There is one distinct quality of a professional that is different from the standards for a student or even an employee. The client sets the standards and cultivates students. By using the idea of the client to help cultivate students in an educational setting, it will help to set a standard. Maybe using Maslow is important here, because it influences, instructs and motivates the student to think beyond himself or herself. Many times with students and sadly even their parents you hear, “Well this is what I want to do. This is the way I think, this was the way I was raised.” These types of sayings are endless and I mean endless. It is better to have a balanced educational goal. Meaning the student does learn to add value to himself, but the student also needs to understand how their value is important to society at large. It is not just the students thinking, his way of understanding life, nor his upbringing that is important. The student learns to use his own skills to benefit others in addition to himself. Students entering the workforce are sorely lacking that creativity that employees are seeking. A recent study from Corporate Voices found that the new generation is lacking academic and workplace skills. In 1998, studies were showing the same thing that students were not centered to be professionals. Western Carolina University has even found that students are lacking in their creative endeavors.
Students can blossom with creativity if they utilize their “client” based knowledge. Having great creativity that sits on a shelf or is admired by the originator only benefits the person. We all need to do things just for ourselves to help our own emotional state, but that is another blog. The professional standard does not just end with the idea and action of the client. I state idea, because it is within the idea that the student will come to understand what others want. I state action because this type of idea must have follow through, it must have some implementation, some practice.
The standard of professionalism does not end with the client, but it also helps the student understand the following:
- A certain way to dress;
- A certain way to conduct oneself;
- A certain way to communicate;
- A certain way to manage time;
- A certain way to develop skills and pursue additional knowledge and
- A certain way to collaborate.
It is agreed that the more someone practices standards correctly and consistently, the greater the result and the more powerful the outcome. So why not start training our next professionals of tomorrow today? Let’s not wait until high school, let’s not wait until middle school, let’s start once students can understand reason or understand what it means to be morally responsible. Let’s start at age nine and ten and encourage them to think beyond just meeting the requirements but exceeding them by preparing themselves to be the whole package. Our students should be well prepared, well presented and well planned from a young age. Professionalism becomes a part of their upbringing and makes work an easier transition.