Integral Education: Strategic Challenges and roadmap ahead (XXVII): A new design for the Ph.D. program. Some additional thoughts.
Have a happy week!
The whole idea about showing you a Ph.D. new design is simple. It was conceived with the purpose to trigger critical thinking in your minds about it. It is important to think about all these issues, simply because the education of your kids or the children of your kids are in hands of educators. And excellent educators need to be educated with wisdom and the right tools. The importance of a new Ph.D. model goes beyond the need for it in schools or higher education entities. It is important for a lifetime of thoughts and creation of new ideas or solutions for the human being priorities and the future protection of planet earth. In addition, this Ph.D. model or proposal is just version 1.0. I am sure in some months, I will release a new version 2.0, based on your comments and feedback, and maybe there will be other new versions until we all feel content about it. Every model proposal has to be improved to a level of satisfaction for all, before being used.
In addition, the Ph.D. establishment in universities was originally planned to provide good educators to the pedagogy marketplace. It was designed for the academic/teaching and research at “universities”. We are convinced many Ph.D.s will continue working in academia. To be a teacher is a vocation as much as it is a choice. There are people who are amazing teachers given their own personality and inherited natural skills. There are others who need training, simply because they don´t have the soft skills required for teaching. The bottom line is to educate the teachers who are born and wish to teach. And to educate the researchers who are born to do research, but now beyond the borders of the university. Ph.D.s may contribute a lot to governments by becoming public sector researchers. Ph.D.s may contribute a lot to corporations, by becoming specialized researchers who work in R&D or Intelligence Research departments. The idea to open new places or positions for Ph.D.s as researchers outside the academia is our effort to provide ideas on trying to solve the lack of six-figure jobs for scientists (in Asia, America, Latin America, Africa, etc.). The Ph.D. must expand its nature beyond the borders of the university because Ph.D.s are the scientists of our societies.
If there are not enough full-time assignments for professors in universities or colleges, that is because Ph.D.s positions have been restricted to it. A full-time professor may have the option to work in the corporate or public sector for some years and return back to the University to teach. If in the USA, and many other countries, 75% of professors have to work part-time or under the adjunct professor modality, there is something which is not correct in the value chain of education. If only 20% or 25 % of doctorate graduates are able to become on the tenure track, and the rest of Ph.D.s can´t make a decent living as an adjunct or part-time professors, (because their salary retribution is not fulfilling their basic economic needs) we need to be creative in our quest to dignify their capabilities. This is a critical issue for society, don´t you think so? On top of it, it is the fact that many of them suffer poverty or live below the poverty line. Why? Is it a problem of lack of positions in academia? Is it a problem of demand versus supply? Or is it lack of resources to pay accordingly? Or is it the educators´rewarding system that needs to be reformed? Or is simply the way in which the Ph.D. careers has been conceived? What do you think?
If you wish to download the ranking scale, please click here: Eliescalante integral education ranking professors.
Let´s continue. In El Salvador, I have heard several times that private sector leaders are whining about the gap between what students learn in the universities and what they are actually expected to know in order to be job-ready inside their companies. Why is this gap happening? Is it a disconnection between the supply of knowledge prepared by the universities and the wants and needs of fresh human capital to be hired by the employers? Are universities leading the road map of education? To where? Alternatively, are the future employers simply outsiders to this roadmap? What is happening? Why is this gap taking place?
If universities are not producing the human capital needed for employers, there is a piece of the puzzle, which is missing. My subjective radar always guides us that the lost piece of the puzzle tends to be found in the spot that no one has look for. That place calls attention to the educators. This is the reason why the integral education starts with them. Educating the educators is essential, and then the Ph.Ds. degree transformation unfolds naturally. A new Ph.D. degree model needs a different design for the future. If we dig a bit on it, the new emerging technologies are not the cause to transform it. Technology is merely a tool that has shaken the roots of the problem with educators or professors. And if we dig a bit more, it is the way professors are taught to think what needs to be transformed for the better, not for the worst. Can you believe that we need to transform the mental frameworks of our professors first? It is a long roadmap for it.
Finally, there are outstanding professors all over the world. Many living in hardship and grief conditions, simply because they were strict to their ethical values and critical views about our societies. It is not fair, isn´t it? Moreover, I would like to acknowledge my gratitude to my own professors. I wouldn´t be here writing these episodes or sagas if I wouldn´t have met them during my life´s journey. I had the privilege to listen to them in class, to feel their words from the podium, to improvise reflections and questions beyond books. I was blessed to see them thinking. Their thoughts, feelings and life lessons were coined in my mind, heart, and spirit. I treasure many of them as outstanding educators. I wouldn´t change the experience to be educated in classrooms with all my peers, in comparison to the internet online model. Without their presence in my instruction and literacy, I wouldn´t be here today.
On my next publication, we will continue with the last subject of this theme: Roadmap ahead for Integral Education. We are on our journey to finish this saga.
Wishing you a beautiful week. Thank you.
Sources which inspired me to write this article:
Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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