We recently joined our colleagues @innovations on Tumblr. We’re pretty excited about it — especially by all of the new ideas and conversations we’re reading. But one idea stood out to us Wednesday: What if the traditional school transcript was replaced with a résumé?
The question was posed on the blog Cooperative Catalyst, in a post by Puget Sound Community School’s Steve Miranda. In the post, Miranda argues that transcripts fail to provide enough information about a student’s abilities to succeed outside of the classroom. While a transcript can tell you how well a student followed directions, a résumé, argues Miranda, could tell you how proactive, creative and truly accomplished a student is. Miranda writes:
If I’m hiring someone, what I really want to know is whether or not they’re going to add value to the organization. If all they can do is follow directions and blend in . . . well, there are plenty of people who can do that. How are you going to change the organization for the better? What possibilities can you show us that we never knew existed?
Dale Stephens, the leader of the uncollege movement, addressed the larger question this month of conventional schooling’s universal worth. He wrote:
Our education system cultivates a mind-set where students are rewarded for following directions. If we still needed public education to fulfill its original purpose — to train factory workers in the industrial revolution — then school would work brilliantly. But times have changed — a May 2010 IBM poll of CEOs found that they deemed creativity to be “the number one leadership competency of the successful enterprise of the future.”
So, what if schools did away with the traditional transcript. If CEO’s are citing creativity as the most important attribute of corporate leaders, then is it time we started ranking students like we would potential hires?
The question speaks to a fundamental aspect of schooling. As unemployment remains high, and the president and leading Republican presidential candidates prepare to unveil their jobs plans, it’s worth asking whether the preparation for future employment — not only in terms of education but presentation and mindset — should begin earlier, with students learning how to present themselves in the language of the working world well before they’re old enough to formally enter it.
We’ve received a lot of great feedback from readers via Twitter. Here are some of your responses: