Online Course: Workforce Preparation Activities in the Classroom:

***The Workforce Preparation Activities in the Classroom: Contextualizing Employability Skills for Deeper Learning online course will be available in Fall 2017**

As part of the Workforce Preparation Activities in the Classroom: Contextualizing Employability Skills for Deeper Learning online course, you have reviewed your lesson plans using the Employability Skills Checklist. Now, share your throughts and reflections on the questions below. 

  • Which employability skills are more typically addressed in your lessons?
  • Where do you see gaps and opportunity to embed the practice of employability skills?
  • Do your lessons introduce many employability skills, jumping from one to the next, or do students have a chance to practice the skills in varied activities and develop deeper competency?
  • Can you do more to engage students in identifying these skills, reflecting on their importance and considering their multiple, transferable uses /contexts?

Once you complete the second session, please share your thoughts or respond to other posts on these questions.

  • What overlap do you see in lessons you currently teach?
  • Which skills were not explicitly included in the workplace preparation activities discussed in the course?

Comments

i like the variety of activities for each lesson which also teach across the content areas.  I like how activities can be easily modified for different levels.  

With having multi-level classrooms, I like how the activities can be modifies for the different levels.  I like taking real life and making a lesson to fit your students' needs.  I believe that helps keep them interested and in the classes.

 

The skills that are more addressed in my lesson are the personal qualities.  After reviewing my lessons I see that I could very easily add the employability skills throughout.  Each lesson has a place for the skills, I just need to go through the lesson and denote what they are and how they will be accomplished.  It is interesting looking at the objectives in this way now, and I know that verbalizing this with the students as will as adding them to the objectives will bring deeper thinking and awareness for all of us in the class.  

I will need to be reading to add using technology more and managing resources.  

Thanks, Nancy Nickerson, for sharing your responses with us.  What classes are you teaching that you think could easily be connected to the ESF?  We're here to help you think through how to use technology and manage resources.

Best,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

I teach adult education and have various situations where I use a lot of these skills.  However, my favorite lesson(s) is communication/customer service in the workplace. The current lesson on Communication is a role-play between two students in a conversation with a customer or manager. This lesson includes employability skills such as; Interpersonal skills, communication skills, and critical thinking skills. Within each of the skills, the following skill components range from thinking critically by analyzing the situation and having conversations with each other; problem-solving (finding the most appropriate way to handle a situation), reasoning (pros and cons of a situation and using "if-then" statements; teamwork by working together, responding to customer needs through role-playing, respectfulness/integrity, professionalism techniques, self-confidence and corporation, and observations by listening actively and verbally to respond to quality questions on the pros and cons of each situation. Other lessons include similar situation whether it is role-playing or reading a situation and expression verbally what techniques/skills should be used and how they would handle a situation

I teach adult education and have various situations where I use a lot of these skills.  However, my favorite lesson(s) is communication/customer service in the workplace. The current lesson on Communication is a role-play between two students in a conversation with a customer or manager. This lesson includes employability skills such as; Interpersonal skills, communication skills, and critical thinking skills. Within each of the skills, the following skill components range from thinking critically by analyzing the situation and having conversations with each other; problem-solving (finding the most appropriate way to handle a situation), reasoning (pros and cons of a situation and using "if-then" statements; teamwork by working together, responding to customer needs through role-playing, respectfulness/integrity, professionalism techniques, self-confidence and corporation, and observations by listening actively and verbally to respond to quality questions on the pros and cons of each situation. Other lessons include similar situation whether it is role-playing or reading a situation and expression verbally what techniques/skills should be used and how they would handle a situation

In my lessons, I do a career assessment, a couple of them.  Once the student and I have an idea of a career that is of interest to them, I find vocabulary and news stories, etc to use when teaching the academic subjects.  So, I believe I am on the right path to teaching the adult learner.  It is so important to keep the learning relevant to the adult learner.  It is a plus when they can earn their academic certificates while they are mastering some of the requirements needed for the job of their dreams.  

I work as a Transition Specialist and use the Foundation Skills Wheel as a guide when preparing lessons.  I attempt to teach the skills identified on the skills wheel and integrate the skill with a workplace skills. So if I am teaching understanding finances, I might do a lesson around budgeting, ask students to set financial goals and create a budget worksheet and then ask how this might apply to the company that they work for.  After completing this learning module, I came away with some new ideas as to activities that would integrate learning; it is important to set the stage or cue learners as to how the skill being taught could benefit them in their other life roles.

Understanding the culture of an environment, a critical life skill was not specifically addressed.  How do we learn the norms of what is expected in a higher learning classroom or workplace?  I think that lack of awareness of what is acceptable behavior in a work environment is key to functioning successfully in that environment.  So, the culture of a plastics factory is different from the culture of Boscovs, and both are different from working in a school setting.   In my opinion, this is an often overlooked skill in developing lessons on employability skills. 

 

I can incorporate more Technology Use material, Systems Thinking Use, and Information Use. Incorporating these skills into my current lesson plan with bring the material content up to the 21st Century Workforce.

Which employability skills are more typically addressed in your lessons?  My lessons seem to focus on the knowledge and skills type.  Whatever knowledge or skill I will be focusing in that lesson, I will drop possible connections for each skill in the lesson.  Also, we have a culinary program at my prison, so many of the connections i make will go with the culinary field since it is available to our ladies. 

Where do you see gaps and opportunity to embed the practice of employability skills?  There are many opportunities to embed the practice of employability skills with my students.  For one, my sign in and sign out sheets remind students timeliness is important and the schedule, the process and discuss the process they have at different jobs.  In addition, with my population I regularly discuss interpersonal skills and conflict management from situations we experience in the classroom. 

After reading up on these skills last year, I have been focusing on deeper learning opportunities in my classroom and real world problems. 

Reading is the most transferable skill needed by all of my students.  I do work on this regularly and need to work on it more in math lessons.  

 

 

 

  • What overlap do you see in lessons you currently teach?
  • Which skills were not explicitly included in the workplace preparation activities discussed in the course?

I see a great deal of overlap in what I teach and the skills students need to be successful in the workplace.  I have worked with another teacher to try a  bridge program this year where students learn culinary skills and ABE skills together leading them to a national certificate as Food Handler.  This preps them for the TABE, and for the stacking their certificates with the serv safe professional too.  

When search for and creating lesson plans, I always try to look for ways to cross categorize my lessons to form fit real experiences as well as academic lessons. I find the some students do not like this method because some say it reminds them of being in school; they only want to learn "the computer," however, I inform my students that in order to use technology to its greatest form and be able to navigate through systems, you must have language and reading skills as well.

I love how each lesson or course teaches you how to further advance your teaching skills while helping the students advance their learning skills. All of the systems taught can be tailored to fit a diverse group and serve students on all different levels through activity. 

The employability Skills that I address in my lesson are: Workplace Skills such as applied knowledge, critical thinking skills, technology use, reading and math. The Students will have the opportunity and knowledge to identify those skills by practicing their skills with hands projects. By working as a team or individually will built their readiness for the workforce.   

Overall, the course is providing opportunities for educators to not only hone their skills, but offers reminders that we need to reflect on our teaching and classroom environment: Are we creating and fostering a community of learners?  Is/are the material/skills taught relevant to our students? Are our students engaged and are we engaged as educators? Ensure we are covering practical application of the skills...

I have been an elementary school teacher for years and now hope to transition to being an adult educator.  At this moment, I am not in the classroom teaching but am taking these continuing education courses to get my teaching license up to date. I find it fascinating and informative!  I am learning many strategies and gleaning so many lesson plans.  I particularly like the contextual lesson plan " Thinking About Becoming a CNA".  Using a variety of resources to show the different POVs and aspect of a particular career is very helpful by giving student real world insight into this job.  The lesson plan uses an article from the perspective of the CNA and why she enjoys helping the patient.  Another article deals with a dispute on the job, how to handle difficult situation professionally, and the role of the union to help resolve the problem.  The last article shares how technology informs and improves the CNA and patient experience.  It is really well-rounded and interesting.  I can see using this approach in a class setting when students start sharing thoughts about what career paths they are interested in.  They could find relative articles from multiple perspective and present their findings.  

Great point, Ivy. I think some adult educators forget the "guiding" part. Many adult learners need assistance making the connection to what they learn in class to real life situations. When adult educators guide learners to activities and model ways to apply new knowledge, many times the learners become more engaged and have improved persistence in adult basic education programming. 

Hello, Workforce Educators!  

This topic of how to provide relevant, engaging instruction to help learners deal with various work-related needs has been a focus of adult basic skills efforts since the 1980s.  Here are a few resources that track those developments and point to resources educators might use to deepen and broaden their understanding of that previous work:  

Paul Jurmo

www.pauljurmo.info

Thanks for sharing. The Contextualizing Adult Education: Learning from Six Decades of Experience and Research piece mentions about organizing learning around adult's roles. We are actually doing a live event on 3/30 at 10am titled Balancing Life Roles While Pursuing a Career Pathway: A Student's Perspective in which we will talk about life roles and adult education. I hope you can join.

https://community.lincs.ed.gov/group/27/event/2021-03-30t140000/balancing-life-roles-while-pursuing-career-pathway-students 

Dan, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the importance of having an environment that builds courage. I like that you used the word 'build' because it does take time for these things to happen. As they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day." I hope you will join our deep dive into the 6 elements of career pathways discussion that is starting next week!

Greetings colleagues -  I am the author of the LINCS Workforce Prep Activities Courses and am pleased to tell share a new resource (that wasn't available when I wrote the courses). The Personal and Workplace Success Skills Library is a collection of curated resources to guide the integration of personal and workplace success skills (aka workforce preparation activities) into curriculum and instruction, advising and coaching, assessment, and program design. These resources were selected for adult education, higher education, workforce development, and career and technical education programs serving adult and older youth learners and workers, including English language learners. 

Take an online tour of the Library with us on Thursday, April 29, 3-4:15pm (EDT). Reserve your spot here.