"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK
- Last night I caught some of yesterday morning's Washington Journal discussion of job training in the U.S. and one of the things the interviewee focused on was apprenticeship in the U.S.. This was of particular interest to me because I'm now in the midst of editing a report from the spring and writing a final report on the evaluability of the Department of Labor's registered apprenticeship program as it is used by the long-term care industry. My trip to South Carolina the other week was a site visit to one of these programs. Hirsh recently wrote an article at the National Journal on these types of programs here.
- One of the important points he makes is that while the government can facilitate some of these programs, business needs to be allowed to take the lead because they know what skills are in demand. This is one of the virtues of apprenticeship. Since classroom training is combined with a lot of on-the-job training for apprenticeships, training is by definition relevant to the jobs available for workers. Bob Lerman, an economist I work with at Urban and a professor at American University, has a report here on the apprenticeship program from the perspective of employer sponsors.
- Apparently C-Span has been looking at job training all week. Here are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's programs.
- Gene Callahan recently posted a passage from Polanyi on apprenticeship: "It follows that an art which has fallen into disuse for the period of a generation is altogether lost. There are hundreds of examples of this to which the process of mechanization is continually adding new ones. These losses are usually irretrievable. It is pathetic to watch the endless efforts—equpped with microscopy and chemistry, with mathematics and electronics—to reproduce a single violin of the kind the half-literate Stradivarius turned out as a matter of routine more than 200 years ago. To learn by example is to submit to authority. You follow your master because you trust his manner of doing things even when you cannot analyse and account in detail for its effectiveness. By watching the master and emulating his efforts in the presence of his example, the apprentice unconsciously picks up the rules of the art, including those which are not explictly known to the master himself. These hidden rules can be assimilated only by a person who surrenders himself to that extent uncritically to the imitation of another. A society which wants to preserve a fund of personal knowledge must submit to tradition."
- Here's a video about apprenticeships and other opportunities outside of college from CNN yesterday. It also features Robert Lerman, who I mentioned earlier:
- And this is Robert Lerman last year discussing the issue on Bloggingheads: