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Meet A Presenter: YP2G

Education is extremely important. Here at Global Learn Day, we work to promote education for all. We firmly believe in access to education and the importance of lifelong education.

However, what happens when education isn’t enough to land a career. What happens when highly educated graduates do not have what it takes to get the job that they need and want?

Neville Gaunt and his crew at YP2G (short for Your Passport to Grow) are working to close the skills gap in a surprising way. Their mission is to give youth a “can do” attitude and boost their soft skills.  These skills are not the ones taught by academic courses of study, but are essential to success in real world careers.yp2g

In fact, employers favor candidates who excel in these skills above those with higher levels of education and training.  Modern education focuses primarily on measurable skills and demonstration of knowledge. This approach is not producing career ready individuals, though.

success

According to an article in Forbes which featured the YP2G project:

In a study of 1,000 employers, recruitment company Reed reported that 96 percent would choose a candidate with a great attitude over a candidate with higher skills. Likewise, if forced to make a reduction in force, they would let a more skilled worker go in favor of a candidate with positive attitude traits and named the top six essential attitude qualities as “commitment, honesty, trustworthiness, adaptability, accountability, and loyalty.”

Through a revolutionary, online program, YP2G is changing the lives of young people in the course of a single year with lessons that develop the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Self motivation
  • Work under pressure and deadlines
  • Organizational skills
  • Team work
  • Ability to learn and adapt
  • Numeracy
  • Valuing diversity and difference
  • Negotiation

Neville Gaunt

Neville Gaunt explains why he began this program, “As a School Governor in the U.K. in 2003, I’ve seen a huge disconnect between education and business,” he says. “In the mid 1990s as I worked in oil and gas, I noticed graduates around the world were far less prepared for work than when I graduated in 1980.” (source)

The preparedness, or lack there of, was not from inferior academic programs, but from lack of personal development. Students are being given rigorous academics with a focus on STEM without developing the kind of character traits that are needed for a successful career.

Beginning in Pakistan, YP2G has spread to select universities in England and has its sights on growth in the United States where a skills gap is widening.

With the help of successful consultants from around the world, YP2G provides a highly affordable opportunity for youth to develop and attitude for career success.  Consultants range from corporate executives to ivy league professors.  All are committed to building a better future through better prepared youth.

We are thankful to have the YP2G project aboard. Thank you for helping to change the world!

Do you have something to share with the world? Want to reach people around the world with your special talent or skill set? Global Learn Day is actively seeking presenters to round out our “itinerary” for our October 6, 2018 virtual voyage.

What soft skill has changed the course of your life for the better?

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Permission to Fail

Want to succeed?  Learn to fail!

In a competitive and driven world, failure is not accepted.  Those at the top are expected to be the best always and rank of scores is highly prized.  Education becomes a competitive sport, something to be conquered instead of enjoyed.

Making the Grade

Grades are a perceived reward for the job of learning.  As our focus on education, in modern times, has become more and more centered upon formal schooling, grades have gained importance as an indicator of what was achieved by a student or an entire school.

We equate high grades or marks with success and learning.  However, the two are very different entities. High grades may reflect a level of success, albeit they do not measure true learning. Just because the answer was correct does not mean the student actually learned.

By putting more emphasis on grades, GPAs, and standardized scores, we are creating a climate where failure of any kind is unacceptable. Success, completion, and perfection are prizes above the process of development. This degrades the value of education provided through school by seeing it as a means to an end instead of a process and experience.

Learning to Fail VS Failing to Learn

If the sole goal of an education is the right answer, how much is really learned? Every great discovery and invention has been the product of a long series of attempts, failures, questions, and reattempts.

In an anecdote relayed by Thomas A. Edison’s assistant, we can see the journey of failure needed to succeed:

I found him at a bench about three feet wide and twelve to fifteen feet long, on which there were hundreds of little test cells that had been made up by his corps of chemists and experimenters. He was seated at this bench testing, figuring, and planning. I then learned that he had thus made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question. In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’ Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.’

Edward Burger, a math professor at Williams College, has a unique approach to not only calculating grades but inspiring failure.  He requires his students to fail in order to further discussion and discovery within his class. In fact, in order to earn an A, the highest bar of success gradewise, students must learn to fail. Five percent (5%) of the final grade is based on how well students fail.

The failure in Professor Burger’s class propels students to take risks, it inspires them to ask questions and get involved with discussion even when they may not be 100% sure that they have the correct answer. The freedom to fail, gives them wings to soar. At the end of the semester, each student is required to write an essay on their failure experience and grade themselves on how well it went and what was learned.  In this way, Professor Burger is igniting the flame to continue to learn and promoting true and lasting education.

If at First You Don’t Succeed

In nurturing education for our children, community, and self, we must never put perfection and results above the process.  Learning that is authentic and meaningful cannot simply be assigned a right or wrong answer, nor is it a linear, clear-cut experience.

Giving students permission to fail, frees them from the constrains of having to perform and lets them develop innovative and creative ways to solve a problem. Even when the “wrong” answer is reached, there is great value in the step taken to get there that will feed deeper understanding and greater appreciation for the subject. In an innovation and technology driven world, failure is the key to creative success.

To become a lifelong learner, one must be willing to try and fail. As was mentioned in Burger’s essay, if you get onto a bicycle and never fall, you have learned nothing.  Like a small child who toddles and falls, we must trudge on realizing that education is not a linear race, but a sorted journey or twists, turns, and set backs. It isn’t in the success that education and innovation are gained, but in the grueling process of figuring out how to get from A to B and starting over when plan A, B, C, D, and even F backfire.

How have you failed to learn or learned to fail?

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