Chapter

The Postindustrial Workplace and Challenges to Education

Kai-ming Cheng

in Learning in the Global Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520254343
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941496 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520254343.003.0009
The Postindustrial Workplace and Challenges to Education

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This chapter explores the changing structure and organization of work, and challenges to education. It describes the nature of work in global societies, and explains how new working environments and management structures and different skill requirements for workers contradict much of the training and organizational theory of the past. The chapter focuses on the large-scale shift from the large-factory business model characterized by hierarchical management to smaller, more flexible workplaces in which employees are required to work autonomously across multiple domains and to use high-level communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It also looks at the main underlying assumptions that govern school structure and curriculum: labour-market demands, specialization, and the importance of academic study. Emphasizing the need for ‘soft-skill’ development, the chapter points to the increasing relevance of communication and expert thinking, and makes various explicit suggestions for school reform.

Keywords: work; flexible workplaces; communication; curriculum; school reform; labour market; specialization; soft-skill development; expert thinking; education

Chapter.  6028 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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