At a young age, I became frustrated and surprised to learn my parents did not know everything! My mother and step-mother both had an 8th-grade education. Consequently, they really had no idea how to help design their daughter’s path to achievement. My mother and step-mother were tough, hard-working women. The problem, they had no basis to understand the value of technology beyond the TV remote.
My father came from a family of farmers, generations deep. He graduated from high school wanting to attend college. Of course, the family’s farm came first. The reason, according to him, he “liked to eat, and preferably, daily.” As you might imagine, there was no shortage of humor and sarcasm in my father’s household!
One day my mother and I put together a new appliance for our home. Pouring over the owner’s manual, I turned and asked, “Where is the owner’s manual for this life you gave me?” She laughed with such conviction; I realized she too must have confronted the same question in her life. To me, it wasn’t a joke.
Later, I realized, I never planned for unseen cycles, forces of nature, social discord, or Murphy’s Law. Such is life! It’s ever-evolving facets changing at different, yet converging levels. Moreover, adults are lobbed into various unsolicited intervals of uncertainty and suffer pain as a result. Nonetheless, the expectation is that we learn to manage and grow from the experience. My ever-present question remained unanswered. What I failed to realize, every kid my age suffered many educational voids, some people more than others.
Even with my best efforts, I couldn’t seem to make sense of the world. I struggled to meet expectations set before me in school and in career exploration. When I was a young student, I didn’t realize I needed Gap Education and Professional Development. However, I did learn people with a great deal of knowledge, skill, and desirable traits get what they want in life.
Undoubtedly, worrying about what it all meant didn’t help. How does one put a life together, and manage it? What’s the recipe? I thought to myself, will someone with some knowledge give me a clue, please? I stumbled repeatedly until I found the key. Gap Education and Professional Development!
The System IS The Problem
Surprisingly, I discovered there is no organized method of teaching. There is no general reference that teaches how to put learning theory to work in the classroom. The light bulb switched on over my head! So, I decided to home educate my children to avoid the system failing them. I would develop my own organized teaching method and community of practice. I’d be damned if I was going to let my babies fall through the cracks like I did!
There is No “Path” Only A Series of Decisions
The following excerpt confirmed what I learned about our educational system, in our country, and the world over. In short, it proves Gap Education and Professional Development is required to help just about every student attending traditional classroom education.
What is described in the scope of this report is the general movement of students and of the shape of the networks that support their transition from initial education to working life. What cannot be charted—indeed, what does not exist—is a neat system of boxes organized in a top-down fashion that directs students along well-defined pathways.Robert, Shapiro, Daniel, Iannozzi, Maria, Capelli, Deter, Bailey, Thomas. 1998. The Transition from Initial Education to Working Life in the United States of America. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.q – https://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/1908306.pdf
In my youth, I did not possess the tools or skills to uncover the knowledge required to do what interested me. Foundationally, it’s impossible to know what you don’t know! As a kid, you never suspect adults would dare leave gaps in your education. In fact, I didn’t have a clue who or how to ask, what to research, discover, or design. Unfortunately, conventional education failed miserably at providing me with the right basic skill set. I had no toolbox to achieve the kind of success I envisioned for myself.
Traditional education methods gear educators toward a behavioral model completely ignoring the innate intelligence of the individual. Likewise, it fails to allow thinking, progress, or connections made beyond the discussion topic. Furthermore, student learning is impeded when limited to a framed subject without the freedom to explore. Also, it continues to promote inner conflicts and the long-standing biases ingrained in our society. This is why enrichment through Gap Education and Professional Development is necessary for a smoother transition to the workforce.
No Changes on the Horizon
Highschool through university level educators teach inefficient and diluted topics. Therefore, I use the term “teacher lag” to explain inferior methods and gaps in relevant education. It is known as the Banking Model of Education. In Paulo Freire’s 1968 book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” he describes the Banking Model of Education structured to focus on students’ ability to remember and recall the information provided by their teachers. Indeed, commonly used by teachers today, this model does NOT foster a critical thinking mindset. Today, the lack thereof regarded as the #1 complaint of businesses which hire entry-level employees straight from the halls of American universities.
For example, university students may not veer off subject. This “forced to learn” and regurgitate the information, on-demand model is ineffective. In brief, students prove knowledge in the form of testing rather than demonstrating knowledge through presentation, and other viable measures. Administrators, faculty, parents and other advocates (Collaborators) remain concerned only with what is written on the paper. Chiefly, they focus on how much, how little, what grade, and never the relevance or effective processes that promote effective critical thinking.
What Students Need
To be effective, teaching must be guided, yet fluid. Still, it’s important to understand the standard model of teaching is flawed, NOT the teachers. Consequently, the serious void that exists in our system of education in this country made me determined to make a difference for my children. Sometimes, you have to roll up your sleeves and jump into the fight to shape your children’s future. The followers and supporters that cheered me on made me less fearful to blaze this rarely frequented path.
Granted, I was nervous and questioning my role in becoming an educator. I wondered if the youth entrusted to me through co-ops, workshops, independent and group projects, coaching, and structured coursework would receive everything they needed to carry them where they wanted to go in life? Would I fail to give them the skills they would need to get into college or business and beyond? Surely, these incessant questions would often linger in my mind as I began to unravel myself into this new frontier. In the end, it would become the foundation of my career as an educator.
Naturally, I ventured outside the status quo to reach my goals after turning over every stone in an effort to be thorough. Would I ever be able to tell educating my children at home was effective? Thus, when my daughters enrolled in college-level courses at age 15 and 16 respectively, I breathed easier. My student’s ability to test into college-level, major required courses proved to me that flaws in our traditional educational system can be patched or circumvented all together.
A Startling Revelation
I have asked other teaching professionals from high school through university level why the voids exist in our education system. Then, I pointed out the obvious voids to the educators I interviewed. Instructors, if not oblivious to the voids in relevant information, were perplexed the voids remain unfulfilled. Teachers use antiquated esoteric teaching methods about theoretical and conceptual material having little to do with real-life applications today. Hence the need for Gap Education and Professional Development.
Today’s educators teach with little flexibility granted to engage in practical applications addressing individualized student interests. In short, teachers don’t challenge students with thought-provoking questions. In fact, they must shovel the information in as fast as students can regurgitate it. This is education? This is skill development? Where else is this form of education or training applicable throughout life? My motive to correct a broken system is born!
The Carousel of Confusion and Failure
At certain points in our life, we slowly managed to stumble into some organized pattern of existence. To be sure, at some point, we manage to make ends meet, OR NOT. In our mind, we tell ourselves we are okay. Comfortably coasting through life, people are thrust into change. They never even locate the drawing board in the first place, let alone understand how to engage in the figurative stumble again. Life is full of dramatic changes, it has to be okay to begin again. Indeed, organized resources and facilitators in the form of advocates would help. How many social ills would be remedied?
Solutions to A World-Wide Problem
From my complete disappointment with our “Frankensteined” educational system, I created an independent learning curriculum and coaching platform. It is geared toward students, and businesses who hire, and train entry-level employees, or employees who require additional skill development. The Trenchant Core® system works well applied, or implemented concurrently, or complimentary with any theory-based education conceived to date.
After all, my goal is to provide the benefit of a truly meaningful, practical, independent learning experience. I realized early on, in my experience as an educator, experiential learning was the key to actual learning and retention. With Trenchant Core®, students willingly learn practical skills, knowledge, and build favorable traits through meaningful, practical experience. To that end, we offer educational enrichment, Gap Education and Professional Development to elevate the skills in our workforce.
Nevertheless, Human and Business Development would later surface as my education and independent research interests. Consequently, most individuals don’t always find or accept help looking for that deep-seated interest. Accordingly, results imply they eventually figure it out by accident, when it is too late, or not at all. It has to surface. The problem, many can’t recognize the pathways on their own. Individuals tend to reject or ignore the obvious sequential patterns to success.
Therefore, to develop our American employment pool, it is students who must take personal responsibility. They must work hard to improve their future. Students must sacrifice and invest their leisure time toward personal and professional development. Additionally, it is up to parents and other collaborators to provide tools and resources for their children to navigate this search for a path. Chiefly, it is up to our nation’s businesses that benefit the most from educational outcomes. Business leaders must be willing to invest in our nation’s workforce development.
Introducing TRENCHANT CORE®
At Trenchant Core® we are building a bridge between education and career to connect people to a successful future. Our curriculum and coaching are geared toward students and their advocates, parents, guardians, business leaders and managers. As a result, we pride ourselves in providing forward-thinking education that utilizes the Problem-Solving Model of education. We want everyone to have all of the opportunities to experience the best possible chances of success.
Learn more about how you can enroll and fill the gaps left by traditional classroom education. Please visit our Enrollment page.
Find out how to increase effectiveness in the developmental relationship between students, their parent(s), teachers, mentors, or other advocates. Please visit our Collaborators Services page.
Correct productivity, quality and leadership issues. Read more about professional development and mentorship between employers and their entry-level, inexperienced, struggling, or unmotivated employees. Please visit our Business Services page.