One Thing Education Needs LO7157

Barry Mallis (
3 May 1996 10:08:57 -0400

Reply to: One Thing Education Needs

Recent, expansive threads about education and learning and organizations
have included provocative thoughts about what today's students and
employees need.

Often the characteristics of such needs change based upon the cultural
imperatives in operation at the time. My current opinion about what we
need "more of" can be summed up in one word: collaboration.

Employers are explicitly or implicitly searching for all kinds of
individuals who manifest collaborative skills in their work. This is NOT
an easy thing to do in the U.S.; many decades (centuries?) of one
distinct, overwhelming, though not intrinsic, culture of rugged
individualism have left an unusual residue atop--or drawn a particular
veil across--a clearer understanding of collaboration.

Examples abound in this country of excellent collaboration. Do such
examples in art, sport, community, education not clearly show positive

Right now I am thoroughly immersed in high performance team training at my
company. It's no panacea, but it certainly does open eyes.
Collaboration, many says nowadays, is the edge, the happenin' thing.

There is not enough collaboration taught in our schools. Parents don't
yet demand it in the class environment. Pardoxically, employment of their
children depends more and more on it.

To the LO list:

If you were to contribute to the design of a curricular understructure or
framework where COLLABORATION was to be a dynamic, guiding principle, what
bulleted items (activities, environments, interactions, etc.) would you
propose for that structure?

May I impose two ground rule for any responses?

ONE: let's not yet elaborate. Let's brainstorm for a few 24 hour cycles.
Throw your "post-it" notes at Rick. Let's brainstorm for a few days, and
then let hell break loose, if such is the case.

[Host's Note: I think Barry means "Let's make the first couple of days a
rainstorm, just send pseudo-post-it notes to the list..." ...Rick]

TWO: specify, if you want and where appropriate, across which of these 3
APPROXIMATE application areas for COLLABORATION you see your design
elements at work:

Area 1: (A1): Pre-K through 8
Area 2: (A2): 9 through 12
Area 3: (A3): undergraduate and graduate

I wonder if we'll come up with something interesting. Do you?

Best regards,

Barry Mallis
Total Quality Resource Manager
MARKEM Corporation
Keene, NH

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