Insights on learning, bias, equity and more from ASU+GSV

April 16, 2019

Now in its 10th year, the ASU+GSV Summit is a convergence of education, workforce and technology. This year’s summit centered on “the Arc of Human Potential” and added early childhood to its list of themes alongside K–12, higher education and workforce. A handful of San Diego Workforce Partnership team members were invited to attend.

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Here are some of the learnings we brought back:

  1. On gender bias

    We have to recognize bias—male and female interviewers need to remember that sometimes women are not as into bragging about themselves as men might be. A little technology and a little humanism go a long way—especially considering that according to calculations by the World Economic Forum, we are 202 years from gender equality.

  2. On skills and problem-solving

    Hiring should be based on work history and degrees, not on skills. Skills can be learned, while history can’t be changed. People aren’t problems; people are problem solvers. We need to solve relatively few problems for people. It’s about empowering people to solve their own problems.

    —Byron Auguste, Opportunity@Work

  3. On hiring practices

    Train your managers to hire based on potential, not credential. Employers should ask two key things during hiring process: Are you open to feedback and do you have a good work ethic?

  4. On meaningful work in the modern workplace

    Either you’re the disrupter, or you’re being disrupted. People want freedom and flexibility as much they want money in a job. As an employer, how can you find ways to offer your employees the option of working in an office for 10 months and then take two months to travel? What’s holding companies back?

    Holland’s theory of vocational choice states that people search for environments that allow them to exercise their skills and abilities, express their attitudes and values, and assume agreeable circumstances and roles.

  5. On equity in education

    When we are color silent, we don’t solve problems.

    Equity is not created by lowering our expectations. Neither is it created by giving all students the same content at the same time without regard for who they are or what they need. Personalized learning environments create space for students to problem solve, which gives them a sense of agency to develop skills that are needed to solve the problems of today and tomorrow that they care about. When educators communicate that they have high expectations for their students and that their feedback will reflect that, students strive to exceed expectations.

    For students, especially students of color, the issue is not their failure to meet expectations but the expectations themselves. Young people—especially young people of color—are not being challenged in the classroom. Expectations gaps are driven by human disconnects that are unconscious. They are not the fault of educators but of an education system that was not built to recognize each child as an individual.

    —Beverly Tatum, former President of Spelman College

    Opportunity gaps are not migrated during childhood. Food insecurity, poverty, violence in the streets, homelessness are often compounded especially in urban settings, leading to economic gaps later in life. Teachers are freedom fighters today caught between opportunity and economic gaps. How do we empower them to be change agents? The teacher is often surrogate mother or father, not just an academic pedagogical expert but also emotional support. And teachers of color can resonate more with students of color.

    —Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

  6. On new ways of learning and lifelong learning

    This generation thinks about learning in a different way; they don’t wait for instruction—they find it themselves. Speed of learning is hyper fast now. Anyone can be a storyteller or instructor. The future demands lifelong learning.

    Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist, Google

    Lifelong learning is not a luxury, but an essential element for companies who hope to remain as competitive as they were in a time when educational attainment wasn’t as important and the speed of learning much slower. Surround people with opportunities to learn and reach their full human potential and our economy will thrive.

    —Michael Crow, ASU

Things we can’t stop thinking about:

Catch all the recorded conversations on the GSV YouTube channel and see you next year!

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