The answer to fixing a sluggish economy and improving college graduates’ job prospects is to address the “skills gap,” re-aligning a broken higher education system to better meet workforce needs, right? This idea has led to bipartisan policymaking that de-emphasizes general education and teaching in favor of more “market-ready” technical programming and alternative credentialing for students.
Watch this discussion on the WISCAPE YouTube channel.
Unfortunately, as Matthew Hora and co-authors Ross Benbow and Amanda Oleson demonstrate in their groundbreaking book Beyond the Skills Gap, this approach is deeply flawed. Drawing on evidence from the learning sciences, labor economics, and interviews with 145 employers and educators throughout the state of Wisconsin, Hora and colleagues demonstrate the centrality of experiential teaching across disciplines in determining whether learners acquire the diverse skill-sets they will need in life and work over the long term.
In this talk hosted by the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), two of the educators featured in Beyond the Skills Gap –- Janet Batzli from UW-Madison and Peter Dettmer from Madison College –- will discuss their own approaches to teaching and learning in light of the complex challenges facing society and the labor market in the early 21st century. In addition, Matthew Hora will advance policy recommendations that center on systemic reforms to public higher education and the business community, which collectively address student, employer, and societal needs.
The event is cosponsored by The Network's Practical Wisdom Series and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER).