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August 5, 1994     Cape Gazette
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August 5, 1994
 

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26 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, August 5 August 11, 1994 School & Education Feichtl: Schools must change By Kerry Kester As this century draws to a close, the "three Rs", so commonly referred to in educational settings, will be replaced by the "three Cs". No longer do professional educators subscribe to the theory that readin', writin', and 'rithmetic' are the foundation of American edu- cation. Rather, communications, conceptualization and coping are the key words. Nancy Feichtl, director of elementary education and special programs, gave a presentation about the changing direction of education and how it impacts the Cape Henlopen School District tO the Board of Education on Thursday, July 21. "The reform move- ment is here, and it is inevitable," she began. Early in Feichtl's presentation, she noted the changes in employment distribution from 1820 to the present. In 1820, for example, 72 per- cent of jobs were in agriculture and mining. That compares to three percent today, and an anticipated two or three percent in the year 2000. Twelve percent of jobs were in manufacturing and construction during 1820, dropping down to 23 percent in today's market, and dropping again to only 15-18 percent in the year 2000. FEICHTL Informational and human services show changes as well. In 1820, six percent of jobs were in informa- tional services and eight percent were in human ser- vices. Now 40 percent of jobs are in informational services and 34 percent are for human services. If trends continue, by 2000, 40-42 percent of all jobs will be held by those working with information, and 36-40 percent of all jobs will be held by those work- ing in human services. Feichtl explained that the United States changed its original economic base from agricultural to industry, and now, it has changed again, basing its economy on information. "The information era has changed what people need to know," said Feichti. "More informa- tion was created in the last twenty years than in the last 5,000 years. One of the biggest dilemmas in schools right now is, 'What's worth knowing?'" Additional changes in the educational arena, she added, include the tremendous changes that students have undergone as a result of new family structures. Feichtl provided statistics on family compositions: while 35 percent of American households have school age children, only 25 percent of Delaware households have school age children; although 55-65 percent of mothers of school age children work out- side the home nationally, in Delaware, 75 percent of those mothers work outside the home. Nationally, 45 percent of school age children live with both natural parents. Delaware's statistics are different: 26.5 per- cent live in single parent homes, 4.3 percent live with neither parent; 29.6 live in reorganized families; 39.6 live with two natural parents, and 26 percent live below the poverty level. The educational level for the workforce needs will be geared more to technical education than a liberal arts education. She cited that Mandarin is the most commonly used language in the world, English is the second most common language, Hindi is the third, Spanish the fourth and Russian the fifth. However, in U.S. classrooms, only 26 percent of students take for- eign languages, and except for Spanish, few learn those languages that are in the top five percent of those spoken globally. Globalization, she said, cannot be ignored, and education must be re-directed to prepare students for it. Biotechnology, for example, is a highly technical field that spans the world. It includes breakthroughs such as genetic transplants, artificial drugs, refined agricultural processes and even prenatal genetic surgery that prevents retardation. Yet, said Feichtl, "Very few kids we are graduating now do into techni- cal fields. There's a recommendation that we move in the high schools to technical preparation." Some major U.S. companies, she added, now produce their own bachelor of science degreed students in order to have their employees aptly skilled for the altered workforce needs. She contends that instruction itself must Change. The teacher's role, for example, will no longer entail direct instruction. Rather, the teacher will be more of a learning facilitator. The student will have a more active role in the learning process, using "hands on" methods to strengthen the knowledge base. The Cape District, she said, needs major improve- ment in writing. "We function below the state average," she said. Students need to learn to write practically: reports, proposals, instructions, summaries, messages, etc. Book reports, literary research papers and creative writing will not be useful when the students join the workforce, she remarked. Teaching must change to become activity oriented, with simulations of "real life" experiences, she averred. "Everybody has to understand that's what we're seeking." Performance based assessment will be an important part of students' learning processes. Instead of taking tests where they fill in bubbles, choose from several answers, or circle the "true" statement, students will show what they know through completed projects that are developed over time. They may design and build structures, create products based on research, write books or manuals, or do any number of other things that simulate activities in the world of work. "Outcome, generally, is created by enthusiasm, interest, and high content," Feichtl stated. Activity- oriented simulations, she said, will achieve higher outcomes, more capable students. "It's going to take a lot of changing of curriculum...but it's worth it," she concluded. guldS;:adutt Center: on Wilmington College Dean's List students A number of Cape region students were listed on the Wilmington Col- lege Dean's List for Spring, 1994. They include: Kelly J. Ream, Harbeson; Lynn A. Amey, Stacey L. Braune, Robert Cavese, Frank W. Charles, Laurence J. Daisey, Gloria K. DeLano, Bar- bara J. Doherty, Sandra L. Edwards, Deborah K. Hilligoss, Prabhat K. Karapurkar, Frances A. McKinney, Dawn A. Quigley, Marguerite M. Reardon, Christine L. Reece, James L. Richter, Jane G. Robbins, Clarence H. Walls Jr. and Tommy Windsor, all of Lewes; Norene Broadhurst, Brinda J. Hogg, Dawn N. Rauch, Michele Wal- stead and Cathy D. Ward, all of Milton; Dean T. Baker, Marjorie O. Biles, Donna L. Baker, Kimberly D. Cox, Susan M. Messick and Kevin B. Mumford, all of Rehoboth Beach. Resort students attend VICA conference Cape region students were among those from Sussex Technical High School in Georgetown who attended the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America's (VICA) 30th annual National Leadership Conference and United States Skill Olympics in Kansas City, Mi., June 27-July 2. Over 7,000 students, teachers, education leaders and representatives from nearly 450 national corporations, trade associations and labor unions attended the event. The students include Bill Darkow, Millsboro, air-cooled gas engine repair; Shane Karlik, Rehoboth Beach, marine mechanics; and John Wright, Milton, cabinetmaking. Four advisors, Fred Brock, carpentry instructor; Prue Kobasa, health professions instructor; John Sadowski, student activities coordinator, and Gary Stewart, mill and cabinet instructor, also attended. VICA is a nation-wide partnership of business and industry, vocation- al students and instructors. Its goals are to motivate students, teach lead- ership skills, help teachers produce quality occupations training, and provide quality workers to business and industry. New microcomputer degree available Delaware Tech Southern Campus in Georgetown is adding a new associate degree program in microcomputers this fall. The new technology will enable students to specialize in the many software packages being used on personal computers. Familiarity with the use of the latest microcomputer hardware will also be part of the course study. The addition of this curriculum offers students the chance to special- ize in either the mainframe or microcomputer concentration. Traditionally, there has always been a demand for C.I.S. graduates with mainframe computer programming skills, according to Jack O'Day, department chairperson. The mainframe programming needs of larger companies such as First Omni Bank, Playtex Corp., Townsend's Poultry and the State of Delaware Office of Information Systems, have required the C.I.S. Department to continually upgrade its curriculum to keep current with demand. In recent years, selected microcomputer courses have been added to the core of mainframe computer courses. The proliferation of microcomputers in smaller companies has created a demand for graduates skilled in numerous new software packages. Along with DOS, Windows, Database, Desktop Publishing, Network- ing, Visual Programming, Integrated Software and others currently in use, it is certain there will be further developments in software, O'Day said. For information contact O'Day at 855-1682. Therapy program wins national award The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) technology program at Delaware Technical and Community College, southern campus, has won the 1994 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Technical-Level student Membership Award. The award of $150 and a certificate plaque is presented annually to the OTA program with the highest membership in the student organization, the American Student Committee of the Occupational Therapy Associa- tion. The southern campus OTA program, under the direction of Anne MacKay Lawton, had a 78 percent student membership. Membership in the student organization, strongly supported by the national association, provides students with an excellent opportunity to become part of their professional organization from the beginning. The award was officially presented in July at the national conference of the AOTA in Boston.