Thursday, June 7, 2012

Core Abilities Are Essential Workplace Skills

Core Abilities Are Essential Workplace Skills.

Core abilities are essential workplace skills that cut across occupational and academic titles. Identifies as such by Wisconsin Technical College System, the core abilities align with other abilities, skills, or outcomes identified in Work place Basics: The Skills Employers Want, the SCANS Report, and other other studies. They are broad, common abilities that students must possess to be prepared for the work force. They are "the broadest outcomes, skills, or purposes that are addressed throughout a course." (Neill)

Although educational institutions typically reflect the core abilities in their mission or philosophy statements, and although good teachers recognize the importance of communication, employ ability, information management, interpersonal, and problem solving skills, "core abilities are not stated at the course level and therefore not planned into the curriculum. ... As a result, these essential skills, which may be the most important educational targets, have been overshadowed by content-specific competencies and objectives." (Neill)

Core abilities are different than course competencies in that they are not course-specific. They are not taught in "lessons." Instead, they are broader skills that run through courses and lessons. They "enable learners to perform competencies."

Core abilities may be stated differently, and the number of abilities varies somewhat depending on how they are formulated in statements. Even the community colleges involved in the Wisconsin project defined the abilities differently from one college to another. The Moraine Park Technical College model may be the most popular, however. It identifies seven core abilities:

    WORKING PRODUCTIVELY -- "an individual possesses and applies effective work habits and attituides within an organizational setting." (Mielke)

    LEARNING EFFECTIVELY -- "an individual possesses necessary basic skills in reading, writing, and computing; applies skills in acquiring information; and uses learning tools and strategies." (Mielke)

    COMMUNICATING CLEARLY -- "an individual is able to apply appropriate writing, speaking, and listening skills in order to precisely convey information, ideas, and opinions." (Mielke)

    WORKING COOPERATIVELY -- "an individual is capable of working with others to complete tasks, solve problems, resolve conflicts, provide information, and offer support." (Mielke)

    ACTING RESPONSIBLY -- "an individual recognizes an obligation to self and others for his or her decisions and actions." (Mielke)

    VALUING SELF POSITIVELY -- "an individual applies the principles of physical and psychological wellness to his or her life." (Mielke)

    THINKING CRITICALLY AND CREATIVELY -- "an individual applies the principles and strategies of purposeful, active, organized thinking." (Mielke)



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