The primary goal of school is to prepare children for responsible citizenry. This is even more evident in the age of high stakes testing. PARCC assesses both college and career readiness, reinforcing the concept that the purpose of school is to get students ready to contribute to society through their career.
The first step in equipping students to engage in meaningful work starts with developing their academic skills that allows them to think creatively and convey those ideas. Exposure to various curricula achieves that end. School also provides students opportunities to grow emotionally and socially, which is essential for them to be productive citizens. After all, skills that are necessary to the world of work include one’s ability to work with others and show the emotional restraint to place the needs of the organization before oneself.
As students partake in their educational life, they gravitate to certain classes that pique their interest or that they find more success in. Their relationship to these classes may provide the direction into career. Each vocation requires certain skill sets and dedication that may be more readily attained if the employee possesses the unique interests and abilities to perform the required tasks.
Although school helps prepare students for work by exposing them to different work-related content and a social milieu to interact in, the school environment is different than the work environment. A work environment is governed by different rules and regulations that dictate speech, dress, hygiene, performance, chain of command, and grievance processes, as examples. To learn about a work environment, one must experience it directly.
The role of a responsible citizenry is related to consumerism. One works to spend, and through spending, we drive the economy by creating the demand for goods and services. Consumerism is an activity that we engage in after work as we purchase the things we need to live independently.
The School to Work curriculum provides students with the opportunity to learn about job-readiness skills and to apply them in a work environment. Students learn about their individual skills and the challenges of living independently. They learn the difference between job and career and develop an understanding of the steps required to pursue a career. Parents play a role in supporting students to excel in their school commitments and work commitment simultaneously. Students who successfully complete the course gain an understanding of themselves, the demands of a job, how to pursue a career and to live independently.Standards