About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some thoughts on Work Literacy

It seems that there is a lot of information that just needs to be analyzed and sorted. However, in reading the related blogs, links, and additional information over the last two weeks I have some thoughts of areas I would like to investigate further.

  • The tie between multiple intelligences and types of tools we use. I see a potential parallel between the parts of the brains we use for a given situation (often based on our preferred intelligences) and the choice of tools. One potential benefit to looking at this might be that the new technology tools currently available give learners the opportunity to choose the tool that will use their skills (intelligences) to the greatest effect while other tools might help to develop those skills (intelligences) that are not as strong.
  • I wonder where the organization fits into these work literacies. Just like family background can have a positive or negative affect on literacy, the support, training, and even understanding of workers at the organizational level can have an effect on work literacy. Also, the type of organization and its structure might not be appropriate to current learning models (as happens with children whose parents do not fit into a mainstream cultural model have difficulty learning to read using standard models). I think it is important that we understand the different models of organizations, knowledge work within those organizations, and organizational culture.
  • Related to this is a framework for knowledge work. I think there is a real difference between knowledge work that is a corporate product (i.e. accountants, instructional designers, education, consultants), knowledge that is both part of the physical product and the product itself (software engineers, hospitals, retail), and knowledge needed to produce and service a physical product (process engineers, customer service, repairmen). Each will have different needs, level of regulation, levels of tangibility, and access to technology.
  • In a discussion with a educational training provider yesterday, the issue came up about balancing the need for individual growth and learner control, with funding bodies (corporation or outside) organizational requirements and goals and the need for measurable changes to justify the investment into training. As a result, anything that is developed in terms of Work Literacy definition must also look at this balance. We should be looking at individual workers' work literacy, but also collective work literacy within an organization. This might mean eventually benchmarking on an organizational level in order to identify training needs.

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