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Systems in tension : perceptions of business and education in partnership 2003

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Systems In Tension: Perceptions of Business and Education in Partnership by BLANE ROLLAND DESPRES M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1994 B.Ed., Acadia University, 1980 B.A., Mount Allison University, 1977 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Faculty of Education; Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 2003 © Blane Rolland Despres, 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada A B S T R A C T The aim of this research project has been to map the range of perceptions that a small sample of educators, business representatives and students, drawn from communities situated around an urban center in western Canada, have of the nature of business and education as well as business-education partnerships. Through an analysis of these perceptions, this work is intended to develop a framework for for the study of these partnerships in the future, and in the development or avoidance of such partnerships by the potential participants in them. From the range of perceptions held by the participants in this dissertation, we can conclude that partnering is not a simple matter of two parties agreeing to some workable union between them for mutual benefits. Yet, despite many benefits accrued, partnerships are troublesome arrangements. Business and education systems are comprised of factors, including participants' perceptions of the purposes, form and structure of education, that influence both the approach to, and the set up of, partnership arrangements. The difficulty of business-education partnerships is far more complex than questionable business motives and practices. From the perceptions of the participants in this study it is evident that education alone in partnerships is a matter interpreted differently by its various stakeholders and practitioners. I am not suggesting that these perceptions are generalizeable to a larger population, but the perceptions of this group present what I would argue are effective examples of how there can be points of divergence and convergence among the participants in business-education partnerships, and how the fundamental and significant nature of those points can provide the basis of a breakdown or the development of such ii partnerships. A greater understanding of these points of view and the factors highlighted by the participants arguably provide the best starting place for dialogue between business and education about partnering benefits, drawbacks and possibilities. A n d finally I suggest that systemic thinking principles be used to coordinate these viewpoints and make for collaboration, and not merely sufferance. iii A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S There is always a list of people to publicly thank. It is true that without the following the task of writing this dissertation would not have been nearly as educational or as fun. Mind you, I would have had a lot more time to play! I want to thank Drs. John Willinksy, Carl Leggo and Gaalen Erickson—my committee—for their support, thoroughness and toughness throughout this project. I doubt if this dissertation would have been as good without you. You helped me immeasurably, as you well know, to move from a place of amateurish scribbling to a higher plain of deeper expression. I have walked among giants. Thank you, John! You provided a tough path to follow that at times caused some pain, but in the end I believe I have accomplished something both worthwhile and that is a tremendous credit to your drive and enthusiasm. Over the past few years I have developed a deep respect for and appreciation of the friendship that has grown between us.. You let me play music and give direction at times. I'll always remember that we actually performed gigs around North America! Who can say that about their supervisor? Carl, you were always more than an advisor and colleague in my eyes. You inspired me to write more poetry; you challenged me to think beyond my head; you showed me how to interact graciously; you were always a support. I thoroughly enjoyed High Tea in Steveston whenever we could and cherish those days when we would kick back and relax breaking bread together. A highlight of my new career would be to someday work with you. iv Thank you, Gaalen, for letting me talk you into being on my committee, for letting me work on your house, for your hospitality, and for your camaraderie. Yours, too, was a valuable and gracious spirit that guided me to higher levels. I want to thank Dr. Carl Leggo and Dr. Joe Belanger who, back when I was completing my Master of Arts thesis, encouraged me to tackle the PhD. Here I am, gentlemen. You helped me to go through the door. Had I not had access to businesspeople educators and students, of course, I wouldn't have had much to speak about. I am grateful to them for their time and willingness to participate in yet "another study." I hope that I have honored you by treating your responses respectfully and you with dignity. A special thanks goes to Mr. David Cairns who I see as a master teacher. It was fun and educational to be in your classes. I want to thank Dr. Simon Casey whom I count as a friend and fellow musician who read my writing and offered a tough and challenging critique of my work. You spurred me on to do continually better. When I hear you play I remember back to my youth and listening to Chet Atkins. Play on! The Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction was "home" during my academic pursuits and development. I am especially appreciative of the many conversations and challenging exchanges that helped me to respect others far more than if I'd stayed at home! Thank you Karen Meyer for leading that community! Thank you Lynn Thomas, Henry Kang, Shula Klinger, Bryan Greene—my office mates; Todd Horton, Jan MacKenzie, Frank Feng, Lyn Fels, Brenda Trofanenko, Avner Segal. It was fun and memorable to be a part of such a community of learners. You all played a part in my academic and even personal growth. v Many friends watched me (and sometimes with fun at my expense!) throughout this whole experience. I enjoyed many conversations with you and thank you for your encouragement! Thank you especially Robin and Diana, Chris and Karen, Bill and Eunice, Otto and Rachel, Jens and Sabena. My very beloved family: Carrie, without your ongoing love and support I could never have completed this project. Your sacrifices were never unseen and deeply, deeply appreciated. I am grateful for you so much beyond words. Chantal-Aimee, ma belle fille, toi, tu me donnes tant dejoie de vivre. Merci pour ta grande patience pendant que Papa travaillais toujours. Maintenant je peux jouer! Robin James, mon ti-beau, toi, tu ries toujours et regardes le monde emmerveille. Les deux, vous me donnez les yeux de voir le monde de nouveau tous les matins. Je vous aime. Of course, this project is a feeble attempt to glorify the "God Who Is There", according to Francis Schaeffer. I feel like a child presenting fridge art to the king. I learned through this project that the universe is a big place and I know so little of it. You amaze me with grace; you provide even when I doubt; you love me even when I am unlovable; you embrace me with huge arms of a loving father; you give and you take and I am humbled and awed by that power. I run to the cross and see the eyes of your son looking into mine with a penetrating and exhilarating love that makes my heart pound. I am free to love because of you. vi I N M E M O R I U M During the course of this project our family laid to rest the remains of our little son, Aaron James, March 30, 1999. He passed on due to complications arising from Trisome 18, a genetic condition that is fatal. He lived for the duration of his gestation and we saw his movements, turning over, a hand or foot passing by, or bracing against Carrie's abdomen. We prayed, we hoped, we cried. Oh, but what a faith that time challenged and strengthened in us. If, as the apostle Paul said in his letter to those Corinthians, there is no resurrection, then we are without hope and, worse, we are to be pitied above all people because we actually believe there is. Then how stupid this page is and how trite our fleeting experience on this planet! Having felt the hand of God and known His presence, we believe. We will see you, son, one day, one day. Dr. Anne Hawes passed on shortly after completing her PhD in the Centre. Although our discussions were brief, I was left with the image of her smile and struck by her quest to know. She is not forgotten! These deaths remind me that life is very temporal but not for nothing. I am far more grateful for each day and for the family and friends around me. vii T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S A B S T R A C T II A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S iv I N M E M O R I A M VII T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S VIII L I S T O F T A B L E S XIII 1. C H A P T E R 1 S Y S T E M S I N T E N S I O N : P E R C E P T I O N S O F B U S I N E S S A N D E D U C A T I O N I N P A R T N E R S H I P 1 1.1. In t roduct ion 1 1.2. Prob lems in Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips 4 1.3. Thes is 6 1.4. Def in ing Educat ion Par tnersh ips 6 1.4.1. Ca tegor ies of Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips 8 1.5. Background and Impetus for Th is Study 10 1.6. The Bot tom Line 11 1.7. Educat ion Goa ls 12 1.8. Educat iona l Re levancy 14 . 1 . 9 . Methodo logy 19 1.10. Sample Se lec t ion 23 1.11. In terv iew Schedu le 29 1.12. Conc lus ion 31 2. C H A P T E R 2 P R O F I L E O F B U S I N E S S A N D E D U C A T I O N I N P A R T N E R S H I P : A R E V I E W O F T H E L I T E R A T U R E 32 2 .1 . Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips Def ined 33 2 .2 . Sys temic Th ink ing in Educat ion 34 2 .3 . On Bus iness 38 2 . 3 . 1 . Change and Bus iness 43 2.4. On Educat ion 47 2 . 4 . 1 . Educat iona l Purposes 47 2 .4 .2 . T rans i t ion From Schoo l 58 2 .4 .3 . Teachers and Teach ing 60 viii 2.4 .4 . Tay lo r ' s Legacy 72 2 .4 .5 . Educat ion and the Economy 73 2 .4 .6 . Educat iona l Reform . . . . 79 2 .5 . On The Workp lace 92 2.6 . On Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips 97 2 . 6 . 1 . Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tne rsh ips : Prac t i ces 97 2 .6 .2 . Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips and Educa t iona l Reform 104 2 .6 .3 . Benef i ts and Prob lems of Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips 108 2 .7 . Boundar ies of Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ips 116 2 . 7 . 1 . Res is tance to Bus iness -Educa t i on Pa r tne rsh ips . . . . 118 2 .8 . Conc lus ion 122 3. C H A P T E R 3 P A R T I C I P A N T S ' P E R C E P T I O N S O F B U S I N E S S 127 3 .1 . The Nature of Bus iness 129 3 .1 .1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of the Nature of B u s i n e s s . . 129 3 .1 .2 . E d u c a t o r s ' P e r c e p t i o n s of the Nature of Bus iness 131 3 .1 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of the Nature of B u s i n e s s . . 133 3.2 . Final Ana lys is 134 3 .2 .1 . Sys temic Factors in Bus iness ' Purpose 134 3 .2 .2 . Sys temic Factors in Bus iness ' S t ruc tu re 136 4. C H A P T E R 4 P A R T I C I P A N T S ' P E R C E P T I O N S O F E D U C A T I O N 137 4 . 1 . The Nature of Educat ion 140 4 . 1 . 1 . B u s i n e s s ' P e r c e p t i o n s of the Nature of Educa t ion 140 4 . 1 . 2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of the Nature of E d u c a t i o n l 4 2 4 . 1 . 3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of the Nature of Educa t ion 148 4 .2 . Educator Res is tance 150 4 . 2 . 1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of Educator Res is tance 150 4 . 2 . 2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of Educator R e s i s t a n c e . . . . 152 4 . 2 . 3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of Educator Res is tance 159 4 . 3 . F inal Ana lys is 159 4 . 3 . 1 . Sys temic Factors in Educat ion Purposes 159 ix 4 .3 .2 . Sys temic Factors in Educat ion Pu rposes : Par t i c ipan ts 162 4 . 3 . 3 . Sys temic Factors in Educat ion Pu rposes : Res is tance 165 4 .3 .4 . Sys temic Factors in Educat ion F o r m / D e s i g n 168 4 . 3 . 5 . Sys temic Factors in Educat ion S t ruc tu re 170 4 .3 .6 . Sys temic Factors in Educat ion S t ruc tu re : Res t r i c t ions 173 4 .4 . Conc lus ion 174 5. C H A P T E R 5 P A R T I C I P A N T S ' P E R C E P T I O N S O F W O R K P L A C E 177 5 .1 . Workp lace 179 5 .1 .1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of Workp lace 179 5 .1 .2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of Workp lace 180 5 .1 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of Workp lace 181 5.2 . Schoo l as Workp lace 181 5 .2 .1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of Schoo l as Workp lace 182 5 .2 .2 . E d u c a t o r s ' P e r c e p t i o n s of Schoo l as Workp lace ... 183 5 .2 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of Schoo l as Workp lace 185 5 .3 . Schoo l Change and Student Prepara t ion for the Workp lace 186 5 .3 .1 . Bus iness ' Percep t ions of Changes Needed for Bet ter Workp lace Prepara t ion 186 5 .3 .2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of Changes Needed for Bet ter Workp lace Prepara t ion 191 5 .3 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percep t ions of Changes Needed to Bet ter Prepare Them for the Workp lace 203 5.4. F inal Ana lys is 205 5 .4 .1 . Sys temic Factors in Workp lace Purposes 205 5 .4 .2 . Sys temic Factors in Workp lace F o r m / D e s i g n 209 5 .4 .3 . Sys temic Factors in Workp lace S t ruc tu re 211 5 .5 . Conc lus ion 213 6. C H A P T E R 6 P A R T I C I P A N T S ' P E R C E P T I O N S O F B U S I N E S S - E D U C A T I O N P A R T N E R S H I P S 215 6 .1 . Par tnersh ips Exper iences 217 x 6 .1 .1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ip Exper iences 217 6 .1 .2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ip Exper iences 225 6 .1 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percep t ions of Par tnersh ip Exper iences 231 6 .2 . Par tnersh ips and Expec ta t ions 231 6 .2 .1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ips and Expec ta t ions 232 6 .2 .2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ips and Expec ta t ions 242 6 .2 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ips and Expec ta t ions 247 6 .3 . Par tnersh ip Boundar ies 248 6 .3 .1 . Bus iness ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ip Boundar ies . 249 6 .3 .2 . Educa to rs ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ip Boundar ies 252 6 .3 .3 . S tuden ts ' Percept ions of Par tnersh ip Boundar ies . 264 6.4. Final Ana lys is 265 6 .4 .1 . Sys temic Factors in Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ip Purposes 265 6 .4 .2 . Sys temic Factors in Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ip Fo rm /Des ign 266 6 .4 .3 . Sys temic Factors in Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ip St ruc ture 271 6 .5 . Conc lus ion 274 C H A P T E R 7 P E R C E P T I O N S 276 7 .1 . Summary of Par t i c ipan ts ' Percept ions of Bus iness 278 7 .2 . Summary of Par t i c ipan ts ' Percep t ions of Educa t ion . . . . 281 7 .2 .1 . Re levancy 283 7 .3 . Summary of Par t i c ipan ts ' Percep t ions of Pa r tne rsh ips . 288 7.4. Towards A Th ink ing Sys temic App roach to Bus iness - Educat ion Par tnersh ips 295 7 .4 .1 . Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ip Boundar ies 296 7 .4 .2 . Bu i ld ing Bus iness -Educa t i on Par tnersh ip B r i dges : Ini t ia l S tages 299 7 .5 . Research L imi t (a t ion)s 302 xi 7.6. Conc lus ions 303 R E F E R E N C E S 307 A P P E N D I X 1 E D U C A T I O N A N D B U S I N E S S C O A L I T I O N S R E S E A R C H P A R T I C I P A N T C O N S E N T F O R M 325 A P P E N D I X 2 Q U E S T I O N N A I R E A N D I N T E R V I E W S C H E D U L E 326 A P P E N D I X 3 G E N E R A L C H A R T O F T Y P E S O F E D U C A T I O N P A R T N E R S H I P S . 328 A P P E N D I X 4 W O R K P L A C E C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S 332 4 . 1 . Common and D ispara te Workp lace Charac te r i s t i cs 334 4 .2 . Tab le of Common and Dispara te Workp lace Charac te r i s t i cs 335 A P P E N D I X 5 S Y S T E M I C Q U E S T I O N S T O P O N D E R P R I O R T O P A R T N E R I N G 340 5 .1 .1 . Par tnersh ip Purposes 340 5 .1 .2 . Par tnersh ip Fo rm/Des ign 341 5 .1 .3 . Par tnersh ip St ruc ture 342 5.2 . Ques t ions to Ponder Dur ing the Par tnersh ip 342 5 .2 .1 . Par tnersh ip Purposes 342 5 .2 .2 . Par tnersh ip F o r m / D e s i g n 343 5 .2 .3 . Par tnersh ip St ruc ture 344 A P P E N D I X 6 C U L T U R E : A B R I E F D I S C U S S I O N 345 xii L I S T O F T A B L E S Table 1: Summary of Participants in This Study 26 General Chart of Types of Education Partnerships 328 Table of Common and Disparate Workplace Characteristics 335 xiii C H A P T E R 1 S Y S T E M S I N T E N S I O N : P E R C E P T I O N S O F B U S I N E S S A N D E D U C A T I O N I N P A R T N E R S H I P We must not forget that businesses and schools have very different organizational cultures. They function differently. Their people speak different languages. Business/education partnerships may, therefore, be difficult; but they are absolutely crucial. (Woodside, 1989, p. 25) Introduction Business-education partnerships exist ideally for the enhancement of student learning, according to the definition of business-education partnerships by the Conference Board (1995, 1997; M. R. Bloom, 1997), which I discuss in more detail in Chapter Two. When business and education consider partnering together, what do they comprehend about each other and what do they need to know in order to proceed with or halt partnership arrangements, especially in light of Woodside's (1989) comment above? The purpose of this study is to examine how a small sample of educators, business representatives and students, drawn from communities situated around an urban center in western Canada, perceive the nature of business and education as well as business-education partnerships. Through an analysis of these perceptions, this work is intended to develop a framework for approaching partnerships that will assist other businesses and educators who are contemplating partnering together whether to achieve a more productive association or to understand the limits of partnering together.' In an effort to develop this partnering framework, I developed ' Education partnerships also exist between schools and higher education, and between higher education and business. For this study, however, I am interested strictly in those partnerships that 1: 1 an interview schedule/questionnaire (see Appendix 1) to draw out the participants' perceptions of business and education. To focus the interviews with the participants, I developed a table of eleven functional workplace characteristics (see Appendix 4 for further explication), which were a compilation of key characteristics that emerged from my reading in the literature and from dialogues with businesspersons and educators. The eleven workplace characteristics that participants were asked to comment on, and which are found in the next section, are project planning, service, project management, creativity, assessment and evaluation, technology, independence, collaboration, production and communication. I interviewed forty- seven people in British Columbia, Canada, who were either involved directly with, or who were familiar with, business-education partnerships—a sample group comprised of educators, business representatives, and students. This cross-section of people provided considerable insight into how business-education partnerships are perceived by these two cultures. There are tensions between business and education regarding partnering together. In light of the body of literature reviewed for this study, I believe there are ample grounds for conducting an analysis of the participants' perceptions of partnerships. This analysis, which includes the participants' perceptions of business, education and business-education partnerships, will increase our knowledge of business-education partnerships in general. A n analysis of these perceptions provides us with views on some of the systemic factors of partnerships. By systemic factors I involve business and schools. 1: 2 mean the interacting and relating characteristics that comprise any system.2 Betts' (1992) succinct definition of a system is "a set of elements that function as a whole to achieve a common purpose." He defines an element as "a necessary but not self- sufficient component of a system" (p. 38; see footnote 2). Flood (1999) provides an extension to Senge's work in relation to other prominent writers in the field of systemic thinking (see von Bertalanffy, 1981). In essence systemic thinking attempts to be a holistic approach to analyzing systems and their complexity, recognizing that there is interconnectedness to all things. 3 A system is any whole entity (Betts, 1992; Flood, 1999). For example, a corporation is a system and this dissertation is a system. This dissertation exists in the context of larger systems of interrelated and diverse departments of the university, and includes the university itself. These are all connected and find further connections in the regional cultures and larger academic cultures around the world, and so on. 4 Business-education partnerships are systems that have connectedness obviously with business and education systems and also with a host of other systems. Each system is comprised of factors and elements, or parts, and while the temptation is to examine the parts in relation to the whole, 2 Further below I explain how I incorporated systemic thinking in this dissertation, and how and why systemic thinking is important in this study. "Systemic" refers to a system and is used throughout this dissertation to qualify a term in relation to its particular system. A "systemic problem," then, is a problem that affects the whole of a system. 3 Flood's work focuses on the application of systemic thinking to organizations. Systemic thinking has broader applications, though, that make it ideal for studying business-education partnerships, for example, which really are highly complex "organizations" comprised of the systems of business and education. 4 A factor that also plays into the complexity of culture and the systems of business and education is— at this point in time—the influence of postmodernism. Although the full effects—and this is not the place to delve deeply into them—of postmodern thinking have not been examined in business or education, it is already evident that there is no consensus either about its utility or its validity (see Eagleton, 1996; Norris, 1993; Rosenau, 1992; B. Turner, 1994). For a further consideration of the topic of culture see Appendix 6. 1. 3 systemic thinking eschews such a reductionistic approach on the grounds that it perhaps only provides greater understanding of the parts and fails to consider the unity of the whole system along with the relation to other systems. By contrast, systemic thinking never loses sight of the interconnectedness of the whole system, which therefore provides a richer and more unified perspective of the system. The interviews I conducted reveal significant divergent and convergent opinions and perceptions of business and education, and of business-education partnerships. While the convergence of opinions between the systems of education and business obviously provides a useful foundation on which to explore partnering, the divergences represent possible conflicting divisions between these two systems that could serve to restrict partnership initiatives or success, especially as business and education potentially seek more partnership arrangements together in the future because of decreased funding for public education. When business and education broach the subject of partnering together, understanding each other's perceptions of partnerships will be vital to ensuring a proper approach to partnering. Problems in Business-Education Partnerships The existence of systemic problems in business-education partnerships first became clear to me in my earlier evaluation of the Information Technology Management (ITM) program (Despres, 1996a).51 also found in my review of the 5 ITM was implemented by Knowledge Architecture, Inc. in British Columbia schools. Knowledge Architecture assembled a team of teachers and industry persons whose mandate was to draft the ITM curriculum, which was marketed to education as a curriculum service venture. The ITM Curriculum Guide focuses on five "Organizing Principles" that, "combine a mixture of both technical and social skills...[reflecting] current demands of the workplace:" Project management skills; Planning, design, and implementation methodologies; Technical operations and support service skills; Business communications and presentation skills; An awareness of the workplace and societal issues of information technology. (Forssman and Willinsky, n. d., p. 3ff). The Guide states that ITM is "designed I: 4 literature, which I discuss further in Chapter Two, that business-education partnership problems are a common occurrence. It occurred to me that three themes seem to underpin or give rise to business and education partnering: namely, the pursuit of educational reform, the desire, on the part of educators, for additional educational funding, and increased profits for business. If business seeks educational reform in order to satisfy better its workforce needs, this does not necessarily mean preparing students to be workers in specific positions. Broader, more generic skill sets relevant to the workplace are expected by business and would be suitable enough if developed through education. These goals might not be all that removed from the goals of educators who favor providing a broad learning experience. So, it may be that there are yet to be articulated grounds for partnerships that could provide a means for education to acquire additional resources in an era of education funding cuts and in ways that children and education are not compromised in any way by business' involvement. This study, then, maps out a range of beliefs about and perceptions of business-education partnerships in relation to one sample group's reflections on business, education and partnerships. By analyzing the participants' perceptions of business-education partnerships, I have been able to establish points on which the participants largely agree, as well as points of disagreement, suggesting that the discussion of partnerships would be better addressed and have more positive results through greater understanding of the perspectives and perceptions brought to the table by both parties. One way of making sense of, or imposing order on, the data is to provide students with skills and problem-solving experiences that are demanded by technological environments in both industry and post-secondary education" (p. 1). 1: 5 to employ a systemic thinking approach (explained further below). Then business and education could examine partnering together more knowledgeably and with a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of partnerships. Thesis My thesis is that within a sample of people from business and education, including educators and students, there are representative and significant points of divergence and convergence in the perceptions of business, education and business- education partnerships. The divergences make clear how fragile a partnership between education and business can be, how ripe for misunderstanding and breakdown, unless divergent perspectives are addressed by the participants in the potential partnership. The convergences in beliefs between business and education, on the other hand, represent a potential, overlooked resource for strengthening partnerships through recognition of common values. This has led me to believe that a greater understanding of these divergent and convergent points by participants could provide the best starting place for dialogue between business and education about partnering benefits, drawbacks and possibilities. Defining Education Partnerships The Conference Board of Canada (M. R. Bloom, 1997) defines business- education partnerships as "mutually beneficial relationships between employers and educators that are designed to enhance learning for students and other learners...Most business-education partnerships are co-operative relationships in which partners share values, objectives, human, material or financial resources, roles and responsibilities in order to achieve desired learning outcomes" (p. 110). This thesis is about the degree to which the business and education participants in one 1: 6 community do "share values [and] objectives." Such sharing cannot be simply assumed, for where there are differences, suspicions grow over intent and interests, and cooperation and relationships are undermined. Everyone will agree that to "enhance learning for students and others" is a good thing, but substantial differences in opinion over what that learning is about, in relation to what is to be learned about business and education, will clearly undermine any partnership attempts. Boyles (1998), in his critical work on business interests in education partnering, provides the reader with enough examples to be skeptical about business-education partnerships as anything other than acts of crass commercialism. Inasmuch as learning enhancement for students may be an ideal in business- education partnerships, from my reading of the literature on the subject and analysis of my data for this study these partnerships experience too many systemic problems that thwart success in the partnership union or in enhancing student learning. The literature refers to such partnering as entering a "third wave" (Townley, 1989, p. 4). According to Ashwell and Caropreso (1989) the reason for these evolving phases is the limited success of earlier efforts in partnership arrangements and the persistence of business to enjoy success. Marsha Levine, in her capacity as Associate Director, Educational Issues Department, American Federation of Teachers, summarized these "waves" as "adopt-a-school programs; business volunteers working in the schools; donations from businesses, ranging from surplus furniture to computer systems" (cited in Berman, 1987, p. 25). Business-education partnerships can range from collaboration on projects by the participating partners, to formal and informal arrangements for services and/or 1: 7 goods provided, such as the ITM program. Partnerships may be formalin the sense of there being a contractual arrangement between the business and the school. In a formal arrangement, obligations and expectations are mutually agreed upon in return for goods, services or program development. 6 Partnerships are informal\f there are no particular contracts, conditions or obligations that must be met, such as guest speakers from business or curriculum material supplements. Functional arrangements, or transactions with business for products and services needed for schools to function (e.g., paper, chalk, power, cleaning supplies), do not constitute a partnership. In business, functional arrangements for operating needs are not regarded as a partnership and I am adopting that understanding here. Categories of Business-Educational Partnerships After this study began, and from an initial reading in the literature, I experimented with categorizing types of partnerships in an attempt to understand better the nature of business-education partnerships. This led to three categories. These are Material/Financial Resources, Human Support and Curriculum Collaboration (see Appendix 3 for further discussion of these categories). Epstein, Coates and Salinas (1997), in their work on community-education partnerships, provide 6 categories of partnership involvement, such as volunteer or material goods, or resource speaker, as a means of understanding the complexity of just the partners' involvement. Jones and Maloy (1988) developed a similar list as categories of partnerships. These lists seem to serve well as detailed subsets of the major category headings I am proposing. 6 By "program" 1 am thinking of a broader application that encompasses curriculum components and materials and curriculum projects. 1: 8 The category of Material/Financial Resources covers all material or financial resources provided to a school as a support to the curriculum or school programs, such as curriculum supplements, hardware and software components, building space, or a monetary arrangement. 7 The category of Human Support relies on personnel who provide a supportive role in a curriculum component or resource, such as a guest speaker. Finally the category of Curriculum Collaboration exists where representatives from education and community, e.g., business, work together on the development and/or delivery of a curriculum or a curricular project. There is a possible fourth category, Education Collaboration. Inasmuch as I have been able to ascertain, examples of Education Collaboration do not exist, because what is necessary for inclusion in this category is a concerted effort to apply systemic thinking to the whole of education and would include the collaborative participation by policy-makers and decision-makers, educators, parents, community and students. From the choice of architecture and the school's setting, to the purposes and form these would take, to the suppliers of the goods and services, the systemic factors of education would be fore fronted throughout this collaborative process. Among the participants in this study, the first three types or categories of partnerships were represented. Regardless of the situation or kind of partnership, the depth of collaboration depends on the participants' sense of trust of each other, as 7 School sports or arts sponsorships and scholarships are arguably a form of partnership under this category heading insofar as one accepts that school sports and arts or scholarship programs are deemed curricular components of education. Some educators will counter that these activities are not a legitimate part of the curriculum but etfra-curricular. Sponsorships that are purely monetary, such as exclusive territory arrangements, would fit under a separate category of general education funding. 1: 9 well as the sense of benefits to be shared in partnering. Part of the reason that participants in partnerships may prefer a kind of default low-level partnering arrangement, such as in material/financial resources and human support, is because of uncertainties around the sense of shared perceptions and intentions. This study addresses those uncertainties, as well as providing a basis for working through them to more substantial forms of partnership exchanges and greater learning on both parts. Background and impetus for this study My interest in business-education partnerships began in 1996 when I investigated the impact of Information Technology Management's (ITM) business principles in the culture of education and on the public school IT curriculum in several British Columbia schools. I found initially that some educators were suspicious of business working closely with education. A n administrator at one of the schools employing ITM, for instance, was adamant that business should not be mixed with education, insisting that "they should remain separate" (Despres, 1996a, p. 26). One of the participating IT teachers at the same school believed that ITM was being used "to directly meet [the company's] own the expense of the teachers and students involved...They always push the corporate model for use with the program" [ibid\. Elsewhere, some interviewees indicated that the teachers' union officials had problems with the implementation of ITM over job jurisdictions.8 In general, educators do not like outsiders to come into their domain (D. Hargreaves, 1995). 8 Nothing came of these concerns with ITM. Nevertheless, that the union even hinted at possible action against student involvement in work projects that benefit the school, such as programming an office computer for a secretary, raises questions of relevancy in education and the ethics of enabling students gain valuable hands-on experience. 1: 10 They like it even less when business reportedly denies that schools are doing an adequate job of preparing adolescents for the workplace in even the basic workplace skills listed, for example, by the Conference Board of Canada (M. R. Bloom, 1997). The Bottom Line Business takes one of two distinct approaches, or some combination of the two, when it comes to working with education. There is the business that is interested in commercial gain as its primary focus and there is the business that acts as a community member with a primary interest in assistance. Within this latter group, some businesses see a vital link between educational goals and the national economy. Nowhere did I find in the literature or among business people I interviewed an interest in schools producing pre-established, assembly-line drones as some educators fear. Neither did I discover businesses in the participant groups I interviewed that were bent on capitalizing on the captive market of students.9 There was certainly an unabashed admission by business that they would like to see graduates readied for the workforce by being more prepared in the essential skills and attitudes, such as team playing, creativity, problem solving, independence, that figure in the general employability skills, for example, of the Conference Board (1997) or the federal government's Human Resources Development Canada. But should business play a critical part in the education of youth? Most students will enter the business workplace at some point, and would thus do well to know something about it. What, if any, is to be the role of business in the education that goes on in public schools? How can business help without usurping the 91 did try to contact two international companies—a burger chain and a soft-drink provider—to interview, but neither one responded to my calls and faxes. 1: 11 educator's role for a broadly based education that extends beyond mere job preparation? These are the types of questions that education and business need to explore in the discussion about partnerships because they demand an examination of the participants' values and goals as well as their perceptions of education and partnerships. Education Goals Formal K-12 education serves several purposes in society. The numerous educational purposes could be subsumed under four broad themes: learning as its own end, social reproduction (including social responsibility), workplace preparation, and personal development. 1 0 Most of the educators whom I interviewed expressed a preference for learning for its own sake, just as they supported personal development. The theme of "social reproduction" is to make of education an acculturation agency (Contenta, 1993; Freire, 1974;Giroux, 1995; Macmillan, 1998), wherein youth learn the prevalent hegemonic structures and "official knowledge" of society (Apple, 1993). Education in this context is also a social sorter within society (Anyon, 1980), or a means of "dividing the world" (Willinsky, 1998). Another theme is preparation for the workforce and higher education (Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development [OECD], 1997). And according to some researchers, the goals of education may encompass all of the above and more (Schweitzer, Crocker, & Gilliss, 1995; White, 1982). 1 0 Maehr and Midgley (1996) speak of 2 main goals in education: tasks and ability. Task refers to learning for its own sake. Ability is about the skill set and outcomes from knowledge. The 4 categories I have set up easily fit with, and expand upon, Maehr and Midgley's goal set. 1: 12 For business, with its principal interest in the "bottom line" and profit, emphasis is placed on those educational goals that tend to be focused more on workforce readiness. Consider, for example, the Conference Board's business- education partnership mission statement: "But our involvement has a more self- serving motive: Businesses need educated workers and consumers. The region's economy cannot continue to prosper if companies lack employees with the most basic educational qualifications. A poorly prepared workforce acts as a drag on the economy of the entire region and state" (Files, 1989, p. 43). This mission statement continues with: "Since the public school system is the principal feature of employees for local business, stimulating improvement in the design and delivery of a quality education became the logical mission" (p. 46). The emphasis on workplace readiness is a common theme raised by some researchers (e.g., Ashwell & Caropreso, 1989; M. R. Bloom, 1995; Marshall & Tucker, 1992). Within the legislated mandate of education, such as found in the British Columbia Ministry of Education's Information Technology 11 and 12: Integrated Resource Package [IR?; 1996), the vocational interests of preparing students for the new workplace are implied. The IRP states: "Students must be self-reliant as well as good communicators and problem-solvers. They require interpersonal, academic, and technical skills, and must demonstrate an ability to work independently and as part of a team" (p. Iff). Other researchers have noted that education tends to be out of synch with the economy. For example, Lowe (1997), in his study of educational and cultural change, comments on the social emphasis of educational goals. He claims, "one key reason for the fact that the economic revolution of this period [1960s-1990] occurred with little reference to the formal education system was that 1: 13 the school remained committed to other ends, including the maintenance of social difference involving the preservation of established elite routes and the prestige of liberal studies" (p. 165). Busby and Graham (1994), a teacher and a professor of curriculum, point out in an article about vocational education that "when employers criticize the education of graduates [from high school] they are assessing them in terms of the work skills they will be required to perform in the workplace while educators assess them on school assignments which frequently have little or no relationship to work-related tasks. This is the essence of the debate over preparedness" (p. 303). In other words, business and education emphasize contrary educational goals, or the very least they are speaking past one another. In a business- education partnership, the degree to which perceived educational goals differ by the two systems is bound to generate problems throughout the partnership arrangement, unless there is an opportunity to work with and respect those differences, especially as one source of difference, as I will show, is a misunderstanding of each other's goals on the part of business people and educators. Educational Relevancy The question of relevancy in education spirited the Conference B o a r d " to commission a research report on the restructuring of education. The report declares that, "the education system needs to be different—and in fundamental ways" (Berman, 1987, p. 1). Accordingly, Bill Clinton (1987), while Governor of Arkansas, " The American-based Conference Board is a research organization touting itself as "the world's leading business membership and research organization, connecting senior executives from more than 2,900 enterprises in over 60 nations" (Conference Board, 1999). 1: 14 insists in the same Conference Board Report that, "education must go through a second wave of reform which goes to the heart of the learning process—focusing on how schools are run, how teachers teach, what students do, and what...[is required] in the way of regulations or paperwork" (p. 10). Clinton continues, "the key success in the next stage of reform is to get people inside and outside the system [of education] to work in tandem" (p. 11). Although the context of the foregoing is American education, similar educational practices correspond with Western education as a whole. The implication of the Report is that education is not meeting the needs of business, nor is it fulfilling part of its mandate of preparing youth for eventual inclusion in society as, what the British Columbia Ministry of Education (1992) calls, "productive citizens." Business tends to look ahead to the effects of education on the economy and, more so now, global competition. Educators tend to focus instead on general knowledge as an adequate "preparation" for life after school (Busby & Graham, 1994). Because the two cultures function according to two different paradigms, they can come to loggerheads, as each insists on, practices and defends its vision of the (best) goals for education. Where the problem becomes particularly noticeable is in business-education partnerships. Kolderie (1987), in a Conference Board report, indicates that: What is at risk in [business-education partnerships] is performance. Within broad limits, the system provides the schools with what they need, whether or not they make improvements, and independent of how well the children learn. If the schools do try hard to improve—as many do—nothing very good will happen to them. If they fail, nothing very bad will happen to them. The accountability system is fundamentally defective, (p. 20; italics in original) 1: 15 Whether the perceived problem in partnerships is accountability or, as is evident from the literature, a myriad of problems, the fact is business-education partnerships are problematic. The systems of business and education sometimes speak a similar language, which I demonstrate later in this dissertation, but in partnerships they fail to mix well, much like the cliche of oil and water. Instead there ensues an imbalance that has led to partnering with education as a limited arrangement. A n examination of participants' perceptions of partnering together unveils unexplored areas, places where the roots of the problems in business-education partnerships can be contemplated systemically. Business and education differ in the value they place on education, but they are inextricably linked. Students will need jobs and business needs employees and consumers. As I will show in the next chapter, writers have commented at some length on the relationship between education and the economy. On that subject some writers insist on the need for a more concerted effort by the cultures of business and education to collaborate together, not only to enhance the learning experience of students but also to ensure realizable educational goals that are relevant to the needs of students and of society (OECD, 1997; Busby & Graham, 1994; Eraut, 1994). Indeed, Carnoy (1997), in a report on the economy and education, emphasizes collaboration between these two cultures in order to achieve greater social and workplace relevancy. The report states: The individualization of work and the undermining of social organization based on work is not re-equilibrated by families, communities, and public institutions. The whole system of relationships among these cornerstones of our societies is at stake. Piecemeal measures destined to increase the number of jobs or to train workers better will not be able to address the whole set of interactions triggered by the processes of technological and cultural change that are at the root of the information society. We need to design new public 1: 16 policies, business strategies, and personal projects. These must aim to reconstruct a set of economically productive and socially fulfilling relationships between work, family, and community in the new socio-technical paradigm, (p. 10; italics in original) The source of much needed change in social institutions, especially education, is "the new socio-technical paradigm." The impact of IT on societies around the world has necessitated a reconstruction of the interaction between the workplace and the community. Jones (1992), in her discussion of educational goals and workplace readiness, speaks to one aspect of the OECD claim. She says: If the vocational-academic gap is to be truly bridged-first and foremost there will need to be a more collaborative culture in the workplace...[and] schools and colleges themselves will need to be run more collaboratively...In short, there needs to be a more collaborative culture of partnership within the business/industrial workplace, between the workplace and schools and colleges, and within the schools and colleges, (p. 267) Al though Jones' assumption of a gap between education and workplace readiness needs testing, and while her exhortation for an "inclusive" community of business and the various levels of education sounds plausible enough, what does that look like? Without the consideration of the roots of the problems and benefits between business and education, collaborations will continue to meet resistance and limited success. As an example of this reticence to collaborate, the business partner involved in the development of the ITM program had this to say about education: You have to understand that business eyes public education with great suspicion. Except for the textbook publishers and school bus companies who have created a dedicated line-item stability in their relationship to the school, most businesses are wary of working with the educational market, not only because schools expect handouts, but because there is a perception that education lacks both capital and business acumen when it comes to planning and managing such things as technology. A n example of this is how schools deal with the costing of computers. Business knows that the hardware and software amount to only 25-30 percent of the cost of introducing this technology into the workplace, while technical services and training cover the rest. Meanwhile, schools budget 100 percent for hardware and software and 1: 17 leave support to either the grace of God or over-worked teachers. It almost guarantees frustrations and business is reluctant to get involved. (Forssman & Willinsky, 1999) The more I delved into the ITM program, as a researcher, mentor and project manager, the more evident it became that both educators and businesspersons had divergent perceptions of each other. The two developers of ITM—one a business consultant (Forssman) and the other an academic (Willinsky)—note that in those early stages of ITM's genesis, "we risked losing the support of some teachers, educators who have adopted a deep suspicion of the corporate agenda as anti- intellectual and too narrow in its pursuit of education as 'skills development'" ( Maehr and Midgley (1996), in their general assessment of the cultures of business and education, point out that it is only as one encounters and engages the cultural tensions embodied in the concept of the partnership can there be any hope of sustained success. Success may mean continuation with the partnership arrangement or, conversely, arresting the partnering process. But these cultural tensions are only one facet of business-education partnerships. There are other interrelated factors that render partnerships complex. It is only as one "encounters and engages" the systemic factors of partnerships that success could be more attainable, or at least lead to a better approach to partnering. As I continued my research within one educational community I discovered an underlying tension that appeared rooted in a systemic mistrust between education and business. On the one hand, I saw that businesses acted supportively in their local community, particularly in the public schools, through financial or material donations, sponsorships and classroom visits to speak on a given subject. On 1: 18 the other hand, in the majority of instances that I found, and which converges with the literature, educators were leery of any business involvement beyond a one-way provision of company information or material/financial resources. I discovered that some educators justified resistance to business collaborations in education on the grounds that education was already doing an adequate job of preparing students for life after school. At the same time I found that business people believed that if the schools were doing a good job, they would be seeing more of the benefits, such as prepared students/workers with relevant skills, than they currently were. Methodology As part of the research for this study, I interviewed a sample group of fourteen educators and twenty-four students, the majority of whom were involved in the ITM business-education partnership (see p. 3 for explanation) in the general environs of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. I also interviewed nine representatives of businesses, the majority of who were involved in business-education partnerships. The purpose of including some individuals with no direct business-education partnership experience was to obtain general information from a slightly broader cross-section of the community. This helped me to determine whether the additional information might be beneficial to the discussion of perceptions of business and education in partnership. The four key chapters that deal with the data are set up according to the questionnaire and the data collected. These are: business, education, workplace and partnerships. I provide analyses of the presented data at the end of each of these four chapters under key, systemic categories. 1: 19 The idea of applying systemic thinking to my analysis of the data arose during my reading of the literature, especially Flood's (1999) extension of Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation. The examination of people's perceptions is a challenge: what means of making sense of the chaos of data could assist me to produce a coherent response that would speak meaningfully to business and education in partnership? In the initial stages of preparation for this study I had contemplated analyzing the data from a more ethnographic standpoint (Holstein & Gubrium, 1994; Janesick, 1994; Schwandt, 1994). After all, in many respects I was re/telling the stories of the participants who might have something to say about business-education partnerships. I was interested in the perceptions of people, but I wanted a means of ensuring that this qualitative work could be useful beyond the re/telling of stories (G. L. Anderson, 1994; Atkinson & Hammersley, 1994; Beattie, 1989; Cherryholmes, 1988; Ely, 1991; Fetterman, 1988; Goodson, 1992; Roman, 1992; Salomon, 1991). There is no doubt that I am re/interpreting the data along lines that I have drawn. Such is the nature of qualitative research (Aitken & Mildon, 1991; Goodson & Clark, 1989). These were not the developed stories that could provide enough details about partnering that I believed would be sufficient or beneficial to future endeavors in partnering. The data and the topic of business- education partnerships, as well as my interest in interpreting the data and literature in a way that would be "fresh," demanded something different (Byers & Fitzgerald, 2002; Goodson & Mangan, 1996; House, 1991). It was the idea of systemic thinking that stirred me to contemplate its application in my research. In a sense, I have compiled aspects of qualitative research methods with the application of systems thinking as one way of drawing meaning from this study. 1: 20 I have adapted Flood's (1999) work and Bett's (1992) definitions by incorporating three main systems clusters under which the various participant perceptions of partnerships can be subsumed. In this dissertation I have labeled these three clusters as Systemic Purposes, Form/Design and Structure, which utilize Bett's systems characteristics but in terms that I think are more appropriate to the discussion of organizations, especially the system of education. 1 2 My rationale for these headings is that for purposes of analysis and to increase our understanding of the complexity of business-education partnerships, or any event or organization, it would be beneficial to be able to seek patterns, or archetypes, that could afford comparative or more revealing qualities that enable dialogue to ensue between systems. Unlike the individualistic nature of Flood's four windows of systemic thinking, 1 3 the three systemic clusters that I am proposing broaden the analytical plain to include personal as well as corporate factors. These key categorizations arose after pondering the collection of respondents' perceptions and of how I could make sense of this data. The clusters help to build "holistic pictures of social settings [and suggest] systemic ways of coping with them that challenge the very idea of problems, solutions, and normal organizational life" (Flood, p. 6). This is a move away from a reductionists tendency that would look at the individual parts, or data bits, such as in Maehr and Midgley's (1996) cultural tensions for example, in an effort to 1 2 Betts (1992) explains systems in terms of openness and "characterized by three important concepts: hierarchy, homeostasis, and purposiveness" (p. 39). 1 3 Flood (1999) suggests that his "systems structure," "systems processes," "systems meaning," and "systems knowledge-power" coupled with "prismatic thought" "help to locate types of issues and dilemmas encountered in organizational life" (p. 94). Each "window" is still a personal practice. It is only through prismatic thinking, or looking through these four windows at once, that we can have multiple views on an event, issue or dilemma that in turn should provide us with a means of attending to the problem. 1: 21 draw conclusions about the whole. In this way I am acknowledging the complexity of the systems of education, business and business-education partnerships. For this study, the Purposes cluster designates the goals or missions, objectives and participants in a system. This cluster responds to questions of what the desired goals are and why those ones, who will be the participants that enjoy and instigate those goals, and the participants' roles and status. The Form/Design cluster comprises the organizational image, protocol, regulative principles, dimensions, and site and place, or geographic set up. The Structure cluster is concerned with questions of technique, or processes, governance and time frames. This cluster is concerned with the means or building blocks of achieving and sustaining the systemic purposes and articulation of the form/design. These clusters are not meant to stand in antithesis to one another but interact. The question of "why" figures throughout and enables alternative responses and reformulating any of the cluster factor details, or elements, in an attempt to arrive at the best understanding of a system, albeit temporal. As I contemplated the responses of the participants along with the literature, it occurred to me that although among the responses there were convergent and divergent points in the end, there were many individual elements that were not so clearly convergent or divergent. For example, a participant will have expressed his or her perception of a partnership or cultural element mentioned by no other participant. That does not imply a divergent point, only that one individual mentioned that particular systemic element. That is when I realized that the complexity of my data and the literature information that I had were factors and elements pertaining to each of the systemic factors of purposes, form/design and 1: 22 structure. These three systemic clusters help to locate common points of discussion and assist us by providing cohesive categories that ensure a better understanding of the systemic factors of the systems of business and education. As such, and given that this study, as I mentioned earlier, begins to map a range of perceptions of business-education partnerships, understanding what those perceptions are and what systemic factors are highlighted by them will help in the dialogue between business and education about the possibilities of partnering together. As part of my analysis of the data, I set up four specific chapters. Chapter Three deals with the participants' perceptions of business; Chapter Four deals with the participants' perceptions of education; Chapter Five deals with the participants' perceptions of workplace; and Chapter Six deals with the participants' perceptions of business-education partnerships. In each of these chapters the analysis section examines the participant responses in greater detail under the systemic cluster headings of Purposes Factors, Form/Design Factors and Structure Factors. In some cases, as will be seen in some of the chapter analyses, some of the sections may be shorter than others. This is because from the data there were few or no responses in the particular category. This is not to suggest that people have no perceptions in those areas, just that in this sample group few if any responses were offered. Sample Selection The people who volunteered to participate in this study were drawn from the array of teachers and students with whom I had worked, or was working, in my managing of the ITM program in the schools. This work also put me in contact with business people a number of whom where also engaged in some form of partnering with schools. I had contacted two additional schools and asked for volunteers to 1: 23 complete the questionnaire in writing, but no one from these schools responded. Of the forty-seven people interviewed, seven educators and students were direct contacts with whom I worked in ITM. All but three of the educators were capable IT users although IT as a definitive quality in the sample appeared to have no bearing on the responses given in comparison, for example, with the literature or the other participants' responses. Also, I had chosen two global corporations because they were global and well known that provide cold beverages or hamburgers, but the two companies refused to participate, ignoring my telephone requests and faxes to do so. The results of the data are not meant to, nor could they, be generalized across the population. The data and the subsequent analyses provided in this dissertation, however, do provide a unique perspective on business, education and their partnering together that has not been done to date. The selection of research participants in this study carries with it some inherent weaknesses as well as strengths. For example, the predominance of participants who had some understanding and even experience with business- education partnerships might seem unrepresentative of the larger population of both educators and business people. In reading their responses, then, this familiarity needs to be taken into account, but from my perspective, it only provides a further context to their perceptions, rather than providing grounds for dismissing them as unduly biased. As the reader will see, these people represent a wide range of perceptions, which I try to map in ways that will help us to understand how people might view business, education and these two partnering together. Had I included a greater number of participants with no experience of partnerships, I may have found 1: 24 different results, but by working with those closer to the actual experience at issue, the perceptions have a grounding that would otherwise not be available. Throughout the presentations of the data I refer to individual participants with a letter designation after the name to indicate if they are a business representative (B), an educator (E), or a student (S). Table 1 below provides details for each of the participants. 1 4 The majority of partnership examples in this study had arrangements with Bellevue School District and included the following companies: • Larson-Simpson Technologies, an international IT corporation that donated IT equipment to a school along with training to teachers and students on how to use that equipment; • Mason Good Investment Brokers provided training and supplies to students to create educational brochures about Canada Savings Bonds; • SkyHigh Airlines, a domestic airline company, collaborated with a local school on an avionics program and student work experience; • A travel agent from Gulliver's Travel agency collaborated with a local school teacher on a course about the hospitality industry; • Makschift Engineering Ltd., a small international company that provided specialized boating and heating components, supported the school district's Career and Personal Planning program by hosting students in a 'job shadow" arrangement. Job shadowing allowed a student from the school district to 1 4 I have included a summary of this Table in each of the data chapters to aid the reader in recalling the participants. I: 25 follow an employee from the company on the job for a brief period in order to gain a better understanding of the job; • Knowledge Architecture, developer/implementer of the Information Technology Management program of online project management tool in schools; • SportShoe (Canada) Inc., an international sportswear corporation. The following table is a summary of the participants' status and their particular affiliation (note that Curriculum Collaboration partnerships are presented differently. This is to highlight a higher-level partnership arrangement): Table 1 Summary of participants in this study. , Participant Responsible for... Services Offered/Provided Don, Corporate Administration (Larson-Simpson Technologies) - Spearheaded workshop on use of Larson-Simpson computer technology equipment, maintenance of equipment > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: Donation of company computer equipment, printers, peripherals; set up instruction for partners on how to use the equipment 6/-e<7(SkyHigh Airlines) - Administrator for SkyHigh Airlines; co-spearheaded SkyHigh's participation in education work experience placements (aviation mechanics: general maintenance, shop training), as well as local collaborative teaching of avionics program > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: avionics; simulator, curriculum materials, liaise with school district and school; 1: 26 Mfa?(SkyHigh Airlines) - Senior mechanic and, union representative with SkyHigh Airlines; co-spearheaded SkyHigh's participation in education work experience placements (aviation mechanics: general maintenance, shop training), as well as local collaborative teaching of avionics program > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: avionics and mechanics; simulator, curriculum materials, liaise with school, oversees work experience placements in the company Vm5"(Makschift Engineering! - President and contact for co-op program: "apprentice"-style participation (limited) - Engineered sophisticated components for boats and diesel engines; Human Support partnerships Dawn (Knowledge Architecture) - President/CEO Knowledge Architecture, principal developer of ITM program; liaise with school districts and schools for implementation of ITM; support, workshops; project management; framework. > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: ITM program. ITM's curriculum materials were developed as a collaborative arrangement between the company and educators working together. Service consisted of ITM support persons working as co-teachers in the classrooms of participating teachers. Support appeared as facilitating the implementation of ITM, some teaching, cooperating with the teacher on evaluation and project development, on- line communications and guidance, workshops and tele-conferencing. Kevin (Mason Good) - Investor-broker and contact/liaison between brokerage firm for stocks, bonds, investments, information and a local school - Information pamphlet for public concerning bonds and savings; Material/Financial Resources partnership 1: 27 Chantal (G ulli ver's Travel) - Travel Agent and co-curriculum deliverer at a local high school concerning the hospitality industry > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: supplements (student handouts): co- teach and provide information about hospitality and the hospitality industry Karen (SportShoe Canada Ltd.) - Administrative contact for education sponsorships - Sportswear sponsorships and Material/Financial Resources partnerships Bob (Learning Society) - President of business-education partnerships group; information and dialogue on business- education partnerships - N / A Bill - Superintendent Bellevue School District; executive decisions, leadership over all facets of the school district, liaise with government Ministry of Education - Leadership over all facets of the school district Aaron - Leadership and management in the school - High school administrator- leadership and management in the school Al - IT instruction, ITM, leadership in the department > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: ITM implementation; IT teacher and department head Colin - Research and direction > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: ITM development and support; University professor Robin - Teaches business education, Career and Personal Planning, liaise with businesses in community - Educator Kris - Teaches ESL, photography - Educator Ralph - Teaches IT, school administration > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: ITM implementation; Educator Blair - Teaches avionics, shop, liaise with SkyHigh Airlines > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: avionics and mechanics; Educator Leslie - Teaches IT > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: ITM implementation; Educator 1: 28 Carrie - Teaches home economics, > Curriculum Collaboration hospitality, liaise with Chantal of Gulliver's Travel partnership: hospitality (with Chantal); Educator Eunice - Teacher Teaches social studies - Educator Matt - Teaches sciences - Educator Ferdinand - Teaches IT > Curriculum Collaboration partnership: ITM implementation; Educator Otto - University researcher and teacher-on-call - Educator Dave - Student N/A Huang - Student N/A Frank - Student N/A Steve - Student N/A Jason - Student N/A Henry - Student N/A Gordie - Student N/A Nicol -Student N/A Karl - Student N/A Annika - Student N/A RJ - Student N/A Raj - Student N/A 12 students ! b - Students N/A TOTAL 47 interview subjects Interview Schedule I developed the interview questions for this study following reports I had completed on ITM (Despres, 1996a), and on a site-based teacher education project (Despres, 1996b). While conducting the interviews for these reports I noted apprehensions that educators had towards outsiders (the "outsiders" were business and the university respectively). I decided to focus my questions on general aspects of business and education. I grouped the questions under three loose categories (the final interview schedule is found in Appendix 2); namely, "technological proficiency," 1 5 This group of students was interviewed en masse. It was a younger grade and did not provide data that added to or took away from the other subjects. 1: 29 "business-education partnerships," and "understanding of the cultures of education and business." The inclusion of technology-related questions was a direct result of my initial work in ITM and had more to do with the role that Information Technology (IT) plays in business. As part of the interview schedule, I showed this table of workplace characteristics to the participants and asked them to comment on the characteristics. I also showed to the participants a chart that I had developed depicting three business-education partnership categories (see Appendix 3), asking them to provide feedback on its utility and clarity in the discussion of business-education partnerships. The three business-education partnership categories are Material/Financial Resources, Human Support and Curriculum Collaboration.' 6 As I posed the interview schedule questions to the participants, I began to realize that some of the information that I was asking for was proving to be irrelevant to what I was really interested in. That is, questions about the usage or effectiveness of IT in schools or personal use of IT were eventually dropped as these had no bearing on partnerships or understanding of workplace. Other questions were migrated to different categories, such as "understanding of workplace" and "social skills one needs for the workplace," which in turn I placed under "cultures of education and business" because they tended to fit better there. 1 7 161 had begun originally to show four business-education partnership categories: Functional Support, Beneficent Support, Human Support and Curriculum Collaboration. After further research and reading I rearranged the categories to what they are now. 171 asked the interviewees for a distinction between "nature of education" and "culture of education." Respondents reported no distinction between the two concepts. Hence, in this dissertation I make no distinction between the two concepts. However, I have included a brief essay on culture in Appendix 6 that relates tangentially. 1: 30 Conclusion Business-education partnerships continue to be problematic in their purpose and structure. And although partnerships are viewed as a means of acquiring much needed funds and materials for education, they are equally troublesome to educators. There has been no systemic thinking applied to the study of the perceptions of business-education partnerships. Writers, instead, have been \ i- critiquing individual factors and elements of business-education partnerships, such as corporate motives or educational reform, without being aware that business- education partnerships are complex arrangements in need of a systemic thinking approach. Systemic thinking applied to the analysis of such partnerships, including the perceptions of them, will shed light on the factors and their elements that will enable a proper framework for partnering to be developed. This study will present an analysis of a range of perceptions of business-education partnerships as the beginning steps to fully understanding their complex nature and to be able to make more knowledgeable decisions about partnering. 1: 31 C H A P T E R 2 P R O F I L E O F B U S I N E S S A N D E D U C A T I O N I N P A R T N E R S H I P : A R E V I E W O F T H E L I T E R A T U R E Leaders from all sectors of U.S. society are virtually unanimous in their agreement that education is of vital importance to the enterprise system and to our way of life. Concern about industrial competitiveness has added fresh urgency to efforts to improve the learning process through business-education partnerships. (James T. Mills, cited in Berman, 1987, p. v) The industrial system, by making trained and educated manpower the decisive factor of production, requires a highly developed educational system. If the educational system serves generally the beliefs of the industrial system, the influence and monolithic character of the latter will be enhanced. (Galbraith, 1967, p. 370) In Chapter One I noted that in general business-education partnerships are meant to be mutually benefiting experiences. However, the reality of business- education partnerships for the past forty years is that they have been, and continue to be, problematic to business and education as well as to some concerned individuals. Ashwell and Caropreso (1989), in their report for the Conference Board, insist that if business-education partnerships are to be "absolutely crucial," then something must be done to ensure that those partnerships function effectively, intelligently and beneficially for all concerned. Conversely, as more is revealed about the systemic factors of partnership arrangements, education stakeholders and participants in partnerships may wish to rethink business-education partnerships. Part of this process of examining the systemic factors of business-education partnerships involves understanding the discussions around these partnerships. This chapter examines the literature on the subject of business-education partnerships, which includes business, education and workplace as the necessary stage for analyzing the data that I collected. I have deliberately limited my 2: 32 examination of business, choosing to focus on perceptions of some of the systemic elements, or details, that comprise its nature rather than getting into full discussions about marketing, supply and demand, corporate and small business philosophies, financial analysis, mergers and acquisitions, business law and so on, simply because to do so would take far more than is warranted for this dissertation. Those systemic elements demonstrate the complexity of business. This is not to say that those topics are irrelevant, just that they are not crucial to my thesis. Business-Education Partnerships Defined From the first chapter, a working definition of business-education partnerships is an agreement between business and education with an ideal purpose of enhancing student learning wherein education receives material and/or financial resources or human support assistance through visits or collaboration on a curriculum project (Conference Board of Canada, 1997). Sponsorships are sometimes called partnerships. Sponsorships constitute a limited or exclusive arrangement for a specified period of time and do not appear to function as true partnerships. Their primary purpose is to supplement resources for education and to provide some profitable advantage for participating businesses. The textbook and school bus industries are other examples of non-partnership arrangements. These capitalize on education's dependency on external support (Apple, 1991; Lorimer & Keeney, 1989). Given the mercenary incentive and lack of "value surplus" (i.e., not over and above the corporate mandate for profits), these industries seek vendor-consumer (contractual economic) arrangements. But the Conference Board's (M. R. Bloom, 1997) "shared values" and enhancement of student learning are not the only criteria for defining business- 2: 33 education partnerships. Indeed, there is an immediate tension just in terms of a useful definition of partnerships depending on which camp one is in. Businesses and business-friendly organizations emphasize the Conference Board's link with positive and mutually edifying benefits but with an emphasis on the benefits to education. Critics of business and education partnering together, however, define these partnership arrangements as strongly favoring business opportunities to profit from the new and captive market of students (Boyles, 1998; Molnar, 1996; Robertson, 1998, 1999). Boyles critiques such partnership arrangements as no more than a continuation of the business bottom line, or capitalizing on "consumer materialism" (p. 1). Either way, and the rhetoric aside about student learning enhancement, business-education partnerships are useful arrangements between education and business in which education stands to receive additional funds while business turns a profit from this arrangement. Systemic Thinking In Education Systemic, or systems, thinking in education has not seen a great deal of successful applications. The difficulties with applying systemic thinking in education are not only because of the complexity of the education system but also because of systemic factors in education that compound its application. Garmston and Wellman (1995) make a connection between the developments in science, specifically "quantum mechanics, chaos theory, complexity theory, fractal geometry, and the new biology" (p. 6), and how these sciences "can help educators rethink their approaches to school improvement and work in new ways within the principles suggested by these sciences" (p. 6). Although some resources exist that attempt to apply systemic thinking in education (see Case, 1992; Isaacson & Bamberg, 1992), 2: 34 the paucity of such examples raises some possible concerns, including the misunderstanding of what is meant by systemic thinking. According to Betts (1992), for example, "the word system has been popularized without a fundamental understanding of its implications, to the point where everything is a system but nothing is really treated as one.... Decision makers need to fully understand why our current approaches [in education] won't work and what is different about the systems approach" (p. 38), a message that was passed on by von Bertalanffy (1981) in his discussion of systemic thinking in education. Yet, Garmston and Wellman (1995) also note that the "high school also serves as a striking form of an adapted—not adaptive—organism. Designed in another time, for the purposes of that time, the typical high school often shows a remarkable lack of flexibility" (p. 6). Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, gives a caveat of sorts about the application of systemic thinking in education in an interview (O'Neil, 1995). He denies that schools are learning organizations (p. 20). At the same time he also identifies key principles that need to be in place in order for schools to become learning organizations. These are "where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together" (Zemke, 1999, p. 49). Systemic change, however, is difficult, as Senge said (O'Neil, 1995) and that B. L Anderson (1993) also admits in her discussion on the subject. A critical reason for the failure for schools to become such organizations has to do with the structure and purposes of schools, such as the isolationism and the political nature of formal 2: 35 education. ' 8 Although B. L Anderson argues a case for a matrix of systemic change that has practical implications for the system of education, Betts (1992) explains five key areas in education that thwart systemic change and the application of systemic thinking in education. He says systemic reform in education has been hampered because of "the piecemeal, or incremental, approach; failure to integrate solution ideas; a discipline-by-discipline study of education; a reductionist orientation; [and] staying within the boundaries of the existing system (not thinking out of the box)" (p. 38). Flood (1999), in his study on systemic thinking, and that corresponds to Betts' (1992) definition of systems thinking, describes systemic thinking as follows: Systemic thinking explores things as whole and is highly relevant...because the world exhibits qualities of wholeness. These qualities of wholeness relate to every aspect of our lives—at work and at home...Life events can be made sense of in a meaningful way only in the knowledge that our actions contribute to patterns of interrelated actions..The world is whole and the whole is complex. It is increasingly complex with more and more information, intense interdependency, and relentless change, (p. 13) Systemic thinking has been around for millennia. Although not called "systemic thinking," the rudimentary principles were there and have shown through on occasion, such as in Sun-tzu's (1994) military writings circa 500 B.C.. Sun-tzu's military work is more than a collection of strategic planning principles that have been adapted since then for business predation and competition. Sun-tzu says: "Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the Way (Tao) to survival or extinction. It must be thoroughly pondered and analyzed'" (emphasis added, p. 167). In a fundamental way, he was thinking systemically. He was adamant that military 1 8 For Fullan (1996), what began as an article about the problem of systemic thinking application in education turned into a misapplied tour of systemic change. 2: 36 officers and decision-makers take stock of systemic factors before engaging in war. ' 9 Failure to do so was certain to bring defeat. The foundations of what we call systemic thinking came into being in the 1930's and 1940's largely as a result of Open Systems theory, which challenged the closed systems view of things in biology and the sciences. Seeing organisms as interrelated and forming complex associations, a growing group of scientists led by scientist, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, at the time began to expand their scientific view of the world to include systemic factors. Their Open Systems theory developed into what they called. General System Theory. Complexity Theory developed from General System theory in the early part of the 1990's. Complexity theory "appreciates the world as a whole, comprising many, many interrelationships expressed in endless occurrences of spontaneous self- organization" (Flood, p. 2). Complexity theory is a strand of systemic thinking. "Systemic thinking" perse came into being in the 1990's as well, though primarily in business. However, systemic thinking still struggles against the ever present "mainstream thinking" that pervades "present-day living" according to Flood (p. 27). Systemic thinking provides a mode of building what Flood (1999) calls, "holistic pictures of social settings. [Systemic thinking] suggests systemic ways of coping with them that challenge the very idea of problems, solutions, and normal organizational life" (p. 6). Events and organizations are not static but are dynamic. Because life events are connected and solutions can be complicated, the approach to 1 9 Sun-tzu developed five factors to be considered in preparation for war. These are the "Tao" (shared vision of the people), "Heaven" (climatic elements). "Earth" (terrain, distance, facility), "Generals" (wisdom, courage, benevolence) and "Laws" (regulations, logistics). 2: 37 understanding these events is unlikely to be (arguably will never be) a linear progression of neat direct cause and effect relationships, but rather a series of causes and effects. A differentiation must be made between systemic thinking and reductionistic thinking. The reductionistic approach to understanding the world by examining its parts is limited in the information that it provides. Breaking a system down into its constituent parts assumes better understanding of the whole but, according to Flood (1999), only leads to a better understanding of the parts. Systemic thinking stands against reductionism by demanding not only that we examine an event or problem itself, but also the contextual and relational environment of that event, organization or problem. In this dissertation the application of systemic thinking in the analysis of the data provides the means of such an examination. On Business To better understand the complexity posed by business-education partnerships we must examine the systems of business and education that are coming together. This is not to say that the complexity of business-education partnerships is the sum complexities of business and education. But by analysis of the systems of business and education we will have a better appreciation for the demands and complexity of their partnering together. In his examination of the culture of business, Alexander (1977) traces the foundation of capitalism, which helps to understand business "as an economic- cultural system, organized economically around the institution of property" (p. 47). He continues: "In essence, capitalism is a culturally and morally neutral sorting mechanism, a means of allocating scarcities and giving them a price. In so doing it 2: 38 creates modes of organization and production, modes of life, and wealth" (p. 101). In defense of capitalism he argues that it "is not an ideology but a) a crucial procedure, b) a self-transforming system, c) a shaper of everyday life, and d) that its 'past is a foreign country'" (p. 198). In short, "[bjusiness has become an inseparable part of the structure of nations" (p. 120). The exchange of goods and services for payment reaches to every continent on the globe. The exchange of goods and services for a price is one of the defining characteristics of business. The price business receives for its goods and services determines the profit, or the "bottom line." As a further explication of the nature of business Alexander (1997) also declares: Two value systems arose and persist—the ethos of success and the ethos of conviction. The aims and objectives of business capitalism—size power, profit, market share and wealth—are driven by the ethos of success. All the "virtues" of this world—neighborliness, familiarity, faith, hope, justice, charity, fort i tude- are vested in the ethos of conviction. Its weakness is that none of these makes money...It is nonsense to think that perfect reconciliations can be found. The ethos of success has an indispensable and exuberant dynamic; and yet we cannot live with a reasonably settled ethos of conviction....In chess, or in mathematics and science, the ends are given and the means are a matter of aptness. But in human affairs and business reason and judgement decide the endswhile reasonableness and conscience must decide the means.... In either case it is certain that the "reason" that guides the ethos of success will, at some time, clash with the "reason" that guides the ethos of conviction, (p. 71, 78, italics in original) Business operates within a rubric of competition, predation, profit and success and functions around the globe to fulfill people's needs and desires. Nevertheless, at some point conflict is bound to happen as the actions of business are confronted by conscience, whether the conscience of business or of society's members. 2: 39 It is the nature of business to strive to gain an advantage over competitors, which is thus an act of inequality. Business, meanwhile, is caught in an arguably awkward ethical position. Alexander (1997) reasons: Kant's most famous injunction is essentially this: Act only on the principle that you would want to become a Universal Moral Law. If a businessman [sic] tried to do so, his conscience would be tattered and torn...If he neglects [his duty to shareholders to do the best he can for them]...the laws of the country that he loves may punish him for omission...Which "universal" moral law is he obliged to heed? A "Universal Moral Law" for patriot-citizens, or a "Universal Moral Law" for shareholders' fiduciaries? (p. 88; see also Kant, 1969) At the same time, some social philosophers, such as Simon (1992), suggest that because there is no—cannot be—an absolute reference point "within a neutral universe of reason beyond the particularities of time and space, [the] message of social construction and social contingency is one of hope...because it also suggests that there is no objective necessity or rational principle to justify the way things are, to legitimate the hierarchies and status quo distribution of wealth, power, prestige, and freedom" (Gary Peller, cited p. 16). But this viewpoint fails to understand that "freedom from" is not liberating after all but eventually enables others' "freedom to," including freedom to be and do whatever, despite Simon's pull to a Kantian kind of social responsibility. This has frightening implications for business and society, none the least of which is wholesale predation and the bottom line. Indeed, if the universe is silent and the affairs of people have no ultimate reference point, then what is a course of action and who decides are two critical questions left in tension. Should business pursue the bottom line in partnerships with education irrespective of codes of ethics? 2 0 What Alexander (1997) suggests is that business has 2 0 Lamb, Hair, McDaniel and Faria (1997), for example, have developed a practical list of general codes 2: 40 a functional place in society that inevitably is bound to bring conflict at times as people wrestle over the drive for success and the reasonableness of profit, or the "ethos of conviction." This tug between success and conviction becomes all the more prominent in business-education partnerships. Out of this determination to achieve success, Alexander warns that the greater concept of culture and civility are at risk with business: the architecture of innovation, science, art, writing, and "cultural" activities, which builds on civilization and enriches it, renews it, or changes it...What concerns me is the dualism between the present ideals of civility of society and the harder-edged civility one often observes in the world of business. The latter's values—at times an almost complete reliance on the calculus and ethic of success—are in danger of becoming divorced from the ethic of conviction shared by both ordinary people and leaders outside the world of business, (p. 224) He adds this about business: 'Their primary objective, profit, while highly useful, is neither noble or [sic] ignoble. The limits of the power of money being what they are, money should teach humility to those capable of understanding these limits, while those incapable of understanding them will not understand anything else about business either" (p. 152; emphasis added). This distinction stands as both a challenge to "outsiders"—those who are not in business—and as a partial explanation about the nature of business. With the business drive to succeed, which differs from education's concept of success and which I will deal with further below, the potential of misunderstandings and resentment is very great as business lives out its philosophy. Where this potential can become especially prominent is in the case of business- education partnerships, especially as the participants and stakeholders confront differing perceptions of these partnerships. of business conduct, such as philanthropic, ethical, legal and economic responsibilities (p. 624ff). 2: 41 Business is also blamed for fueling societies' insatiable demand for more goods and a living ethic of "optimizing the bottom line" over and above a practice of "good Samaritanship" (Senyard, 1995). Alexander (1997) challenges business, business has grown to be a dominant social force in our world—unwittingly and unintentionally. It has also, at least in the West—again, unwittingly and unintentionally—made a world which inclines to humanism though it has not yet attained it. If business does not join in this search for humanism wittingly and intentionally it will be out of phase with society; and if it continues to be out of phase, it will continue to come under persistent attack by the rest of society, (p. 81) He also reasons: [Although] business is a natural carrier of humanism and has a humanistic role, it has not assumed it. Dualism persists: business is still seen as a strange and sometimes alien incubus, with separate ways, mentality and mind from the rest of society. It is not understood, not loved, not even liked..This separateness of the world of business from society-at-large cannot comfortably continue in a world of foreseeable, ineluctable and increasing closeness and density, (p. 3) Business, according to Alexander, must act out of its "ethos of conviction" for the good of society and the world as well as for its own long-term good. There is a utilitarian impetus for changing, which is to resist coming "under persistent attack by the rest of society" for acting out of a culture of indifference to society. There is also a social pressure on business to change, which comes both from society and from an awakening to its own roots and systemic link with society. Perhaps if this ethos of conviction were more prominent, business-education partnerships would not be as problematic. But the motives of business inside or outside these partnerships are only systemic elements that form a part of the complexity of problems in business- education partnerships. 2: 42 Change and Business Social influences have an impact on the business environment. A n example of social changes whose effect on business could move a company in a positive or negative direction is found in Bill Broadway's article in The Washington Post (2001). He says: Talk of soul and spirituality is flowing freely in the workplace these days. Many chief executives are unabashedly defining their companies' business mission in moral terms. Some are adding a dimension of social responsibility through environmentally friendly practices. Some pay employees to mentor students or work at homeless shelters. Others have infused their employee handbooks with ethics-based philosophy or altered workday routines to allow time for meditation, yoga or napping, (p. A01) Broadway's point is that some corporations do, in fact, take seriously social transformation ideas and apply different practices in their businesses that prove to enhance success and employee satisfaction. Fundamentally the drive to incorporate a higher social conscience, or ethos of conviction, in business is the belief, in this case, that "a business should demonstrate social responsibility not just through donations to charity but in its core operations and programs" (Broadway, 2001). Social integrity is important for business, too. Nevertheless that does not prevent some businesses from exploiting such trends. Broadway quotes one researcher who believes, "the notion that a company is founded on moral principles can be used as a justifier strategy' for almost any business decision. It becomes easier, for example, to lay off employees when top executives believe that their mission is inherently virtuous." Lamb, Hair, McDaniel and Faria (1997), in their marketing manual, indicate social, demographic, economic, technological, political and legal, and competitive forces as the influential factors that confront business (p. 18). These factors influence 2: 43 varying degrees of change for business. Alexander (1997) confronts business and insists that change is imminent for the future. He states: "No single corporation has much more at heart than its own problems and, at best, the problems of its immediate, identifiable stakeholders. To find a broader perspective business must join with other institutions of the future...[as] a requirement of civilized society" (p. 104). This statement finds a similar challenge by Carnoy (1997), Marshall and Tucker (1992) and Rifkin (1995). What with the demise of the corporations Enron and WorldComm 2002 (The Washington Times, 2002; WorldCom Inc., 2002), and the consequent impact on Andersen Consulting as well as the shake-up of "high tech" stocks, Alexander's statement stands as a call for systemic reform in business. It is a call for business to become collaborative with their neighbors for other than profit as a means of success. By the same token, however, change in business is also a matter of contestation. Take for instance a recent comment in CIO Insight, a journal aimed at Chief Information Officers of companies, about recreating the workplace to accommodate a much more "tech-sawy" generation. The article, by John Parkinson (2002), after challenging the reader to consider how children in the beginning of this millennium are able to carry on concurrent multiple computer tasks that would stymie their parents in the workforce, states: By the time they enter the work force, we may have slowed them down to something closer to our level. Every generation tries to do this to its children to some extent, but no generation succeeds entirely; otherwise, we would never make any progress at all. I wonder how successful we will be in maintaining our current model of the workplace and the linear structure of work. (http://www.cioinsight.eom/article2/0.3959.389112.00.asp) 2: 44 It is one thing to enact change in some of the systemic elements, such as marketing methods or sales promotions, but the experience of paradigmatic change that influences the direction of a whole corporation is reportedly seldom if ever achieved. From Alexander's (1997) call for business reform and Parkinson's question about workplace readiness for a new generation, is it possible for business-education partnerships to be a bridge between socio-cultural change and workplace? Unless the difficulties still prevalent in partnerships are resolved, the potential good of partnering will be lost. According to Carnoy (1997), in an OECD report, a number of changes have taken place in business and the workplace as a result of IT and that have found resistance (also Sassower, 1995). The report states: The desegregation of work in the information age has ushered in the network society. The transformation has shaken the foundations of our institutions, inducing a whole new set of social crisis in the established system of relationships between work and society....It is our hypothesis that the crisis is due to the inability of social and economic institutions to adapt to the requirements/opportunities of the new, informational work pattern based on organizational flexibility and productivity growth through self-expanding human capital potential. This inability comes, on the one hand, from defensive resistance to change by workers, organizations, and institutions. It also results from short-sighted business strategies that use new technologies for immediate gains, trimming labor costs and imposing one-sided management decisions, regardless of their social cost (p. 18-19; italics in original). Take for example Microsoft Corporation's responses to class-action lawsuits leveled against the company for allegedly overcharging for its software due to its "Windows monopoly" [FinancialPost, 2002). The software corporation attempted to donate computers to needy places in education. The article explains: Microsoft Corp.'s plan to settle class-action lawsuits by giving public schools in poor neighbourhoods US$ 1-billion worth of computers was rejected by a U.S. judge who said it would help the No. 1 software company dominate the education Market..To put it bluntly, in the words of the opponents of the 2: 45 proposed settlement, the donation of free software could be viewed as constituting "court-approved predatory pricing." (FP3) The corporation saw their philanthropy as a "unique opportunity to achieve some very real social good" (FP3) according to a company spokesperson whereas opponents to the deal viewed it as opportunistic. One has to wonder had the donation been equal PC and Apple products a rebuttal likely would have been avoided; or if the company had simply donated one billion dollars to education and allowed the educators to decide on its use, there would have been a more positive response from the judge. In this case the focus had to do with profits and market share, pitted by the offended groups as an unfair advantage. What this situation shows is how misrepresented actions can be and how perceptions of actions vary depending on the vantage point. The matter of divergent perceptions is a critical one in the discussion of business-education partnerships. Fritjof Capra (2002), known perhaps better for his forays into theoretical physics, also conducts management seminars around the world. According to a summary of his workshops, Capra has this to say about business and change: Al though we hear about many successful attempts to transform organizations, the overall track record is very poor. In recent surveys, CEOs reported again and again that their organizational change efforts did not yield the promised results. Instead of managing new organizations, they ended up managing the unwanted side effects of their efforts. At first glance, this situation seems paradoxical. When [we] observe our natural environment, we see continuous change, adaptation, and creativity; yet our business organizations seem to be incapable of dealing with change. ( Business may show interest in "soul" matters, but its practices still raise questions about ethical conduct and their motives. This is not to say that business is the only 2: 46 system to push the limits of ethical expectations placed on them either by society or from within their own culture. The implication from this section is that business may suffer from a Janus- nature that impedes change and functioning out of an ethos of conviction. This attitude is not at all conducive to education stakeholders who, already sharing perceptions of business as motivated by greed and profits, are divided about any positive benefits of the two systems partnering together. On Education Educational Purposes Before discussing the nature or culture of education we need to examine its purposes or aims, or as Ebel (1972) was prompted to ask, "What are schools for?" (p. 3). Part of the difficulty of this discussion is the range of beliefs not only surrounding various articulated educational purposes but almost equally the stakeholders' reactions against political pressures and interpretations of educational purposes. The perceptions of educational purposes are really at the hub of the discussion about business-education partnerships. Ultimately partnership conflicts develop over divergent interpretations of, or emphases on, educational purposes. What is the role of education to be in society is a question that has been raised throughout the centuries. Hummel (1993), for instance, presents Aristotle's view of the purposes of education. He says: "For Aristotle the goal of education is identical with the goal of man..The happy man, the good man, is a virtuous man, but virtue is acquired precisely through education. Ethics and education merge one into the other" (p. 12). Hirst (1970), like White (1982), delves into the philosophical reasons for education while others have tackled ethical (Bruner, 1996; MacMillan, 1998; Strike & Soltis, 2: 47 1992) and social (Bruner, 1996; Conference Board of Canada, 1997; Gibbons, 1990; OECD, 1997; Willinsky, 1998) reasons for education. What mechanism is in p l ace - democratic or other—to ensure that education stays relevant to the needs of society and current in the world? The importance of understanding those purposes will have a direct impact on the discussion of education and the direction for business- education partnerships. In UNESCO's Information Kit for Education for Ah'(2001), the general rationale for education for the nations is stated as follows: Education provides individuals with the power to reflect, make choices and enjoy a better life, stresses the Dakar Framework for Action. Education has powerful synergistic effects on other development objectives: empowerment, protection of the environment, better health and good governance. Education of mothers has a strong impact on health, family welfare and fertility. According to a recent OECD report, investment in education results in a clear economic pay-off: one extra year of education leads to an increase in an individual's output per capita of between 4 and 7 per cent (in OECD countries). Education is important for other reasons too, specially the cultivation of values, attitudes and conduct essential for living together in peace, and for personal growth and fulfilment, [sjc] (The achievable goal; for all/background/background k it contents.shtml) Education, according to UNESCO (also Conference Board of Canada, 1995; OECD, 1997), is a multi-purposed system in societies with potentially great benefits to the people for personal, economic and social reasons. How best to achieve those benefits is a matter of determining the systemic purposes, form and structure of education. Formalized education operates within the greater society, or within the "ethos of conviction," to borrow from Alexander (1997, p. 71), as the agency of learning 2: 48 and acculturation. White (1982), who examines the topic of education from a philosophical approach, suggests that education has several grand purposes, some of which are pitted against each other, particularly where purposes are delineated along the line of instrumental versus intrinsic value. He also insists, "that education should not only be concerned with means to ends, but must do something to promote ends themselves," and that it "should aim at the pupil's engagement in (critical) activity for its own sake" (p. 15; italics in original). White also highlights one of the main purposes of his book is to "sort out what the educator's aims should be and that his aims may well be different from the pupil's" (p. 17; italics in original). Schweitzer, Crocker and Gilliss (1995) conclude a similar understanding in their comments about education in the context of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and which includes preparation for the workforce (p. 9, 17-18). Educational purposes, then, differ according to one's vantage point. On a more global scale, a UNESCO report, Education for All: An Achievable Vision\n.o\.), indicates broad, general education purposes and, from a conference in Dakar, Senegal, in the spring of 2000, presents 6 overarching education purposes to guide the nations entitled the "Dakar Framework." Expand early childhood care and education. Free and compulsory education of good quality by 2015. Promote the acquisition of life-skills by adolescents and youth. Expand adult literacy by 50 per cent by 2015. Eliminate gender disparities by 2005 and achieve gender equality in education by 2015. Enhance educational quality. ( co/policy group/EFA brochu re.pdf) These national purposes for education deliberately leave much to the imagination and interpretation by participating countries. The "life skills" in Canada, for example, 2: 49 will look different and even be interpreted differently from those in the United States or Uganda. Nevertheless, these broad purposes are an example of how one organization views the purposes of education. Compare these with local concerns. White (1982), in his dealing with the matter of educational purposes, raises a critical point in the discussion of those purposes. He argues: "If the good of society comes into the account, this seems to bring in political considerations: the question 'What should the aims of education be?' seems to become a political question, to be decided in a democracy, by the political community at large" (p. 22). Regarding society and its responsibility in the articulation and interpretation of education purposes, UNESCO (n.d.), in its online brochure on education, defines education as a social responsibility and a hallmark of the "civil society." The brochure reads: Though the state has the ultimate responsibility for and authority over education, civil society organizations play a major role. Three distinct roles can be identified: - service providers where state provision is absent or insufficient. Civil society organizations are more flexible than the state and closer to the grassroots and local cultures... - innovators and sources of new thinking and practices -important if the EFA concept is to evolve and respond to change... - informed critics and advocates on a whole range of development issues ( co/policy group/EFA brochu re.pdf. italics in original). Each of the above three roles implies sets of purposes of education. Who is responsible for the education of the population is itself a matter of debate and ranges from parental prerogative to societal responsibility. As an example of broad purposes of education determined in a democratic context, in British Columbia the government's Ministry of Education list of 2: 50 educational goals are: "Intellectual Development," "Human and Social Development" and, 'To prepare students to attain their career and occupational objectives; to assist in the development of effective work habits and the flexibility to deal with changes in the workplace (Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Education, A Conference Board (2002) website report by Dave P. Newell, Chairman and CEO, Syncrude Canada, echoes a similar workforce utility in education purposes, which runs contrary, for example, to Dewey's view of educational purposes as going beyond work preparation and as an end in itself, and a preparation for democratic living (in White, 1982). Newell claims that, "one of the main benefits of an education to many people is not learning itself, but the employability it leads to. A n education— almost any higher-level education—used to be a ticket to the front of the employment line. Today, it's a requirement just to get into the line." Associations representing educators have also added to the list of education purposes. In a Press Release by the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF; 1997), a segment proclaims: "A Message From Canada's Teachers," in which the implicit goals of education in Canada also include systemic support for "a stable and well-funded system of public education, professional teachers, and classroom conditions which ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn." Furthermore in its Annual Report from a meeting in Prince Edward Island (2000), the CTF effectively agreed to several other educational goals, from anti-privatization, to education as a non- commodity and protection of students from being "a captive consumer audience for any corporation" (p. 10). And in an effort perhaps to ensure proper articulation and understanding of the purposes of education in Canada, the CTF states: "The goals 2: 51 and expectations society sets for learners and schools must be both challenging and realistic, and progress towards these goals must be evaluated in a comprehensive and fair manner" (p. 29). What is evident from the various reports above, and which corresponds to White's (1982) earlier comment, education has two philosophical, and not unrelated, strands: intrinsic and extrinsic worth. Some stakeholders emphasize the one over the other, which leads to conflicting values between business (or other systems) and education, for example. How easy, too, for business and society to argue that business-education partnerships would be the best means of ensuring "a stable and well-funded system of public education" (CTF, 1997). If in the end business-education partnerships are determined by a community to be the right way to go, who is to argue against this? But this is only part of the problem of sorting educational purposes. Lam (1990), citing a 1972 Alberta government document (the Worth Report) regarding education's role as an acculturation agent noted, "the Commission report emphasized the leading part the educational system can play for bringing about significant changes in society instead of just reinforcing existing dominant values and beliefs" (p. 104). Lam points out a salvific purpose of education towards society. Of course in order to effect social change more purposes will need to be considered, such as the goals of society or of communities and of organizations in these communities. Yet, Hull (1997), citing an earlier work by Giroux and McLaren in 1989, suggests that, "the conservative discourse of schooling" (p. xiv), wherein public schools are defined as "agents of social discipline and economic regulation" (p. xv), are "valued only insofar as they turn out workers with the skills, knowledge, habits, and attitudes thought essential in terms of today's economy" (p. 5). This, according to 2: 52 Hull, places unnecessary restrictions on students in that students are confronted with diverse social pressures through schooling that detract from more relevant purposes, such as critical thinking or analysis. It should be becoming obvious that the various social organizations in society have diverse perceptions of education and its purposes. One apparent purpose of education is to teach children to learn information and skills for the test (Gibbons, 1990). Depending on one's philosophical leanings, educational intent is seen to acculturate status quo or to legitimate inequality and maintain the dominant culture's values (Giroux, 1983),2 ' or to emphasize particular selections and omissions in a culture (Billington, Strawbridge, Greensides & Fitzsimmons, 1991). According to Pai and Adler (1997), the purposes of education could be viewed as the "deliberate means by which each society attempts to transmit and perpetuate its notion of the good life, which is derived from the society's fundamental beliefs concerning the nature of the world, knowledge, and values" (p. 4). However, another compounding problem in the articulation of education purposes Is anthropologist Jules Henry's claim that: "School metamorphoses the child, giving it [sic] a Self the school can manage, and then proceeds to minister to the Self it has made" (cited in Contenta, 1993, p. 28). Part of the acculturation of young people is seen as recreating individuals in the image of a state ideal. Henry's comment sounds similar to Parkinson's (2002) article about the workplace and its accommodation of a generation of "tech-sawy" children where he states: "After all, 2 1 Agger (1992). and Blackledege and Hunt (1985) speak of education in terms of conflict or Marxist theories; Mifflen and Mifflen (1982), and J. H. Turner and Maryanski (1979) view education as a social function, or of a utilitarian value to society; and Agron (1993), Hathaway (1991) and Toll (1991) in different ways examine the role of architecture in education. 2: 53 the education we give our children, particularly in high school and beyond, seeks in part to renormalize their behavior into a model that we (and their teachers) are more comfortable with" (http://www.cioinsight.eom/article2/0.3959.389112,00.asp). According to Contenta, schooling is the practice of the hidden curriculum, which essentially is a curriculum of "submission." Students are constrained by it as much as they are trained in it. It is the enforcement of the status quo, dominant society's ideals, even if these are in contradiction (p. 179; also Butler & Walter, 1991). White (1982) raises the problem of set curricula and materials as well as the systemic form and structure of schools. He asks: "Why have educated men [sic] all got to be of the same type, all with identical qualities?" (p. 125). Regarding these "materials" Lorimer and Keeney (1989) raise questions about the role of textbooks in the development of the curriculum, pointing out that textbooks help to ensure the very problem that White questions. Education purposes so far are evidently sufficiently varied as to render the discussion of education and especially business-education partnerships very complex. Bruner (1996) views education as "a major embodiment of a culture's way of life, not just preparation for it" (p. 13). A similar point is critiqued, along with the role of education in the context of social change, by Postman (1996). In a study of Canadian schools and their culture, Contenta (1993) says this about how and what educational purposes are achieved: While the home environment is a factor in reproducing inequality, schools themselves are working hard to teach children at the bottom how to stay there while teaching those at the top how to hang on to what their parents already have. The process is skewed by a cultural bias that permeates schooling—from teachers to textbooks—and it is legitimized by the myth of meritocracy. Invisibly they combine to shape the self-image of young people, a message with the soul that spares no one, including the middle class, (p. 96) 2: 54 As a challenge to the education establishment and reminiscent of Gibbons (1990), Bruner wonders: is an entry into culture and not just a preparation for it, then we must constantly reassess what school does to the young student's conception of his own powers (his sense of agency) and his sensed chances of being able to cope with the world both in school and after (his self-esteem). In many democratic cultures, I think, we have become so preoccupied with the more formal criteria of "performance" and with the bureaucratic demands of education as an institution that we have neglected this personal side of education, (p. 39) He even suggests that "learning in its full complexity involves the creation and negotiation of meaning in a larger culture, and the teacher is the vicar of the culture at large" (p. 84). Whether or not teachers are conscious of this role as "vicar" is a matter for further research. Eisner (1983) comments: Attention to the sensibilities in schooling has always been a low priority. The senses are supposedly bodily functions, somehow unconnected to the mind. Feeling, or awareness of qualities, is supposed to rely upon soma, and educational experience is supposed to deal with psyche. The break between mind and body is further legitimated by the reification of cognition and affect. We tend to regard the former as linguistically mediated thought—kind of inner thought—and the latter as feelings that need no help from mind or intelligence, (p. 53) These acculturation expectations and "personal side" draw attention to the purposes of education as a reminder that ultimately those purposes directly affect (young) people, and that determining what these educational purposes are to be along with their effects invites a continuous reexamination. We can see how these critical approaches to education's purposes, such as connecting mind and body, might conceivably, if unexpectedly, be aided or threatened by partnerships that move education out of its own self-contained realm and into a larger world, albeit represented by business. What is important here is to see how perceptions of the 2: 55 basic purposes of education, from both sides, can be at issue. The solution is not to try to develop purposeful ideals or mutually acceptable educational purposes. Related educational perceptions are drawn out by other writers, such as Gibbons (1990) who states that there are, among others, three "tendencies in schooling[:]...the tendency to cultivate failure, isolation and confusion. In the traditional paradigm all learning leads to the test and its proven success in it...While tests create pressure to learn, they primarily serve the needs of management and create serious downside risk for the learning of many students" (p. 147). What we see from Bruner (1996), Eisner (1983) and Gibbons is that although educational purposes may be established by legislation and endorsed by educators, their articulation in practice leads to different ends. Part of the solution to the problem of divergent perceptions of educational purposes is to examine the systemic factors of education. Only in this way can educational purposes be effectively guarded against misperceptions and conflicts of interest. Another difficulty in the systemic structure of education is the view that society has changed and that these social changes have an impact on education (see W. T. Anderson, 1990; Bibby, 1990). Postman (1996) speaks about some of these social changes and education, stating: "The idea of a publicschool' is irrelevant in the absence of the idea of a public; that is, Americans are now so different from each other, have so many diverse points of view, and such special group grievances that there can be no common vision or unifying principles" (p. 196). 2 2 The system of 2 2 The Internet is already influencing the system of education. A number of universities already offer on-line degree programs (e.g., Athabasca University, MBA program). Some schools also offer virtual classes. A friend of mine is a virtualteacher. His is a classroom without walls but comprised of his 2: 56 education is structured to accommodate a predefined pattern of pedagogy by architecture, legislation and practice. Contenta (1993), for instance, points out: "Schools came to reflect the hierarchical nature of workplaces and were built, organized, and run like factories...They were so similar in structure to factories that some, like Toronto's Brant Street Public School [in Canada], were actually made to be converted to factories if enrolment declined" (p. 16). That is, the prototype of schools is factoryesque in its design and existential function. It seems dubious, then, that schools could be called upon as instruments of positive social change (see Kohl, 1980). The variety of purposes of education, whether perceived or articulated, invites misunderstanding as the system of education clashes with others over differing expectations of what the outcomes or purposes of education are or ought to be. As a perceptive summation of what I have presented so far, Pai and Adler (1997), in their work on educational culture, comment on some of the critical problems of the purposes of education. They say: The meanings of these ideas [on the foundations of education] and their influence on human behaviors, thinking processes, and learning styles vary according to society's prevailing worldview and values. This being the case, it is not surprising that each society has its own conceptions of what liberal education, well-rounded person, and even basic skills mean. Moreover, the relative worth of special goals and educative means is rooted in the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which people learn and educational institutions function, (p. 3; italics in original) laptop computer and a large number of students who inhabit other spaces: a dancer in Monaco, sports students unable to attend school with regularity, students at home because of health or disciplinary reasons. Gord can take his "class" with him wherever he goes. When I first met him in Mazatlan, Mexico, he would disappear for about two hours each day to electronically communicate with his students. A bonus of this means of education, according to Gord, was that parents were much more attuned to what their children were doing, being able to communicate more readily (at their convenience) with him. 2: 57 Clarifying the purposes of education is more than deliberate and official statements. Whose need is being represented? From Pai and Adler as well as Postman (1992, 1996), what should we do when "visions of a better, more democratic and egalitarian world" (Ornstein, 1995) are contrary to the feelings and beliefs of others, or what if the visions are myopic? Whose "oughts" and "shoulds" deserve privileging and why? These questions and the research of their answers are part of the philosophy of education, another element in the systemic factors of education. What Pai and Adler have raised is how the problem of establishing education purposes is rendered more complex through people's perceptions of them, and how they are achieved or pursued in the social ethos and practices of the educators. The diversity of perceptions, which can so easily lead to problems, demands that business- education be scrutinized systemically, which is the foundation of this dissertation. In this way the diversity of perceptions can be mapped and the systems of business and education can receive a complete review so that the discussion of business-education partnerships may proceed with greater detail in order to alleviate problems and ensure successful decisions. Transition From School Another important point in the discussion of educational purposes, especially in relation to the potential for partnerships, has to do with the transition from school to life outside school. Gibbons (1976) fathoms another compounding factor in the complexity of the system of education. He states: "The crucial issue of secondary education, and perhaps of all education, is how to promote the successful transition of youth from childhood and school to adulthood and the community" (p. 1). Darrah (1997), in his discussion of the transition from school to the workplace, questions the 2: 58 curriculum that education has or has been provided to help students in this transition from school. He challenges researchers who intimate that, efforts to facilitate the school-to-work transition by young people necessarily rest upon assumptions about the nature of work that may be unexamined and even spurious...analyses of work which decompose people or jobs into components that are presumed to be necessary in order to perform the work... [and the outcome is that the] content of jobs is typically treated as if it varies independently of the characteristics of workers, thereby creating the constraints to which new workers must adapt. The function of education thus becomes narrowly defined as one of providing people with the skills required by the jobs. (p. 251) Assumptions in this case about the transition from school to work demonstrate the linear and reductionistic thinking mode of education and of some education commentators. Marshall and Tucker (1992) suggest that a viable solution to the problem of school-to-work transition would be a combination and variation of approaches practiced abroad. Marshall and Tucker demand: "We must devise a structure for the school-based portion of the vocational education system that is based, as in Sweden, on a modular curriculum and broad occupational categories, rather than on narrow specialization. Schooling must educate as well as train, and provide the broadest possible foundation for worker mobility and choice" (p. 211). Their suggestion, however, fails to take into consideration the complexity of that transition (Eggleston, 1992), and also brings the discussion on transition back to educational purposes. Marshall and Tucker also implicate higher education for being responsible in part "for the problem in the schools." In fact their conclusion is, "though higher education is in a better position to provide active assistance to the schools than most of society's basic institutions, it has thus far failed to do so" (p. 212). Concerning these institutions of higher learning, Contenta (1993) charges: 2: 59 The universities are perhaps the biggest stumbling block to ridding schools of academic disciplines. They remain the fortress of bureaucratic expertise in which academics jealously guard their turf—historians keep anthropologists at a distance and psychologists make sure no one mistakes them for sociologists. They pressure high schools to reflect this view of the world and, indeed, universities must shoulder the blame for much of the structured inertia of schools, (p. 202) Education is obviously affected at all levels by the demands of higher education. Whether or not universities are responsible for as much as Contenta or Marshall and Tucker (1992) claim is another study. My point here is to emphasize that there is another influence in secondary education to consider, in addition to its relation to the world of business and work. 2 3 Again, these points regarding transition from school to the workplace demonstrate a range of opinions and observations of practices, which demand an examination of both the systemic factors of education and the corresponding perceptions of them. I will raise this topic of transition again below under the heading of business-education partnerships. Teachers and Teaching The systemic factors in the purposes of education also take into consideration the persons who will benefit from the purposes and who will be the implementers of those purposes. In this case society's agents (Bruner's "vicars") of educat ion- teachers—command some attention in the discussion of education. After all, teachers are the frontline interpreters of educational purposes. This immediately pits educators 2 3 On a note about higher education and the problem of funding, Noll (1998) reminds us, "controversy has been sparked by concerns that academic research has grown too close to industry in areas such as biotechnology. Critics fear that deepening commercial ties in such areas may be undermining academe's commitment to both basic research as well as the academic norm of free disclosure—a norm that contributes to research quality and to the cumulative advance of science and engineering more generally" (p. 171). He also indicates that: "The impetus behind increased industry support for university research comes primarily from universities, not industry" (p. 183). Part of the reason he offers for this is the desire of researchers to increase revenues due to decreases in funding (p. 184). 2: 60 against other members of society who may have different views about what those educational purposes ought to be and how they should be attained. The consequent conflict from these differences needs to be addressed on a systemic level, for the problem and solution are not about fixing teachers or their perceptions. But the complexity of education is also compounded by the complexity of school cultures, which add to the difficulty of effecting change in education (see Sarason, 1982; Sergiovanni, 1987). Wyner (1991), in his work on education, defines the nature of teaching as a school-determined ethos, that "teachers have their own workplace beliefs, values, traditions, and relationships that constitute the culture of teaching. Teachers' beliefs about what goes on—'the script' on social interactions or subject matter—are a significant source of collegiality or conflict in teaching cultures" (p. 95; also T. Atkinson, 1996; Bey & Holmes, 1990; Cochran-Smith & Paris, 1995; Craig, 1995). Teacher preparation programs experience multiple challenges, such as diverse philosophies of methods (Britzman, 1988; Brook, 1996; Brzoska, Jones, Mahaffy, Miller & Mychals, 1987; Corrigan & Haberman, 1990; Elliott, 1993; Griffin, 1995; Hargraves, 1995; John, 1996; Levin, 1990; Liston & Zeichner, 1991; Proefriedt, 1975; Soder & Sirotnik, 1990), reforming teacher preparation programs (Book, 1996; Borman, 1990;Braun, 1989; Britzman, 1991; Claxton, 1996; Gallup, 1995; Goodson, 1995a; Kramer, 1991; Lang, McBeath & Hebert, 1995; Tom & Valli, 1995; Tyson, 1994), and the pre-service teachers' perceptions and knowledge of education (Aitken &Mi ldon, 1991; Butt, 1989; Gauthier, Mellouki & Tardif, 1993; Woods, 1984). Osguthorpe, Harris, Harris, and Black (1995) offer a challenge to education and even to society: 'Today's teachers must be equipped with an array of thinking and 2: 61 problem-solving skills greater than those of any past generation of teachers" (p. 58; also Goodlad, 1990). Whitehorse (1996) suggests: Teachers' theories about and behaviours regarding teaching in multicultural contexts are based on personal and educational experiences, and that these experiences are framed by the socio-cultural context of the school, community, and student attributes. More importantly, they are significantly affected by the socio-cultural contexts from which students and teachers come (and in which educationally institutions exist), (p. 326) Regarding the socio-cultural milieu of schools, Pai and Adler (1997) state that students are "members of cultures to which the teacher may not belong" (p. 16; also Becher, 1992; Wright, 1987). Evans and Brueckner (1992) note that teachers have "varied personalities, philosophies of teaching, ideas, attitudes, and perspectives" (p. 88). Wubbels and Levy (1993) report findings on the perceptions of teachers—by themselves, by their students, and by the researcher—and note a divergence of opinions. Kelchtermans and Vandenberghe (1996) state that teachers' professional behavior is linked directly to the view they have of themselves, and their perceptions of tasks are "[implicitly] normative and connected to self-esteem" (p. 55; also Clandinin, 1986; Cuban, 1982; Woods, 1984). This introduces an additional challenge in the delivery of the curriculum as well as in the interaction in the classroom. Pai and Adler note, in reference to the culture of education, that, "teachers as a group are monocultural in their experience and education. Only when individuals increase the repertoires of their private and operating cultures and make use of them can they function proficiently in culturally divergent situations" (p. 118). Adding to this teachers' ethos, A. Hargreaves (1993) believes that teachers are isolationistic and individualistic due to the systemic nature of schooling with its independent classrooms and one teacher per group of students, where there is little 2: 62 recourse to professional dialogue between fellow teachers, in a system that does not foster ongoing professional growth (also Marshall & Tucker, 1992). Regarding the practice of teaching, A. Hargreaves comments: The continuing and pervasive presence of isolation, individualism, and privatism within the culture of teaching is not a matter of serious doubt or disagreement among writers on the subject...Although pockets of collaborative and collegial practice among teachers are acknowledged, these are widely understood to be exceptions to the general rule, requiring special conditions for development and persistence...Despite numerous efforts at improvement and reform, individualism stubbornly prevails within the teacher culture...Why? (p. 54) This may well speak to another of the hurdles—around communication among professionals—that faces the forming of business-education partnerships and fuels the fires of misperceptions. The role of teachers is also problematic in trying to define precisely what it is. Eggleston (1992) and Welker (1992) refer to teachers as professionals while Simmons and Pitman (1994) define them as "workers," a reference similar to Marshall and Tucker's (1992) "blue-collar" view. McLean (1991) describes the teacher as an "agent who actively mediates between environment and action, who discriminates environmental features in making decisions about personal actions" (p. 6), but also who is resistant to change (p. 223, emphasis added). On a more political bent, Giroux (1995) argues for the teacher as "public intellectual" whose role as critical social agent necessitates being a cultural worker deliberately struggling against oppression as a social evil and one that students, and presumably pre-service teachers, must engage (also Abraham, 1984; Lesourne, 1988; McEwen, 1995; Mclntyre & O'Hair, 1996; McLean, 1991; Postic, 1989; Simon, 1992). Even gender plays a part in teachers' roles. In a study on gender differences in teachers' career patterns MacLean 2: 63 (1992) found that: "Many women...adopt a collegial model of power sharing rather than a hierarchical and bureaucratic model of personalpower, the latter being the approach adopted by many career oriented men" (p. 18, italics in original). Researchers view teaching as craft (e.g., Huberman, 1993; Pratte & Rury, 1991), as labor (e.g., Apple, 1991; Marshall & Tucker, 1992), and as artistic endeavor (e.g., Eisner, 1974; Gage, 1978). Compounding the problem of teacher roles, Simon (1992) raises the following critical questions germane to teachers and their practice: To suggest that education is a moral and political enterprise raises at least two central questions that must enter into deliberations as to how one should formulate one's responsibilities as a teacher. The first is what the moral basis of one's practice should be...What are the desired versions of a future human community implied in the pedagogy in which one is implicated? The second is, given our own moral commitments, how should we relate to other people who also have a stake and a claim in articulating future communal possibilities? (p. 15) Simon's questions tie in with what I showed earlier regarding the purposes of education (White, 1982). Interactions between education and community are by nature ethical, and one promise of such partnerships would be in creating a space to explore those moral commitments within communities. Simon's questions relate back to my earlier discussion about educational purposes and versions of reality that should have ascendance. Posner (1996) addresses teachers with the philosophical questions: "How do you view knowledge in your subject matter? Do you think of learning your subject matter as absorbing ideas (idealism), mastering facts and information (realism), training the intellect (neo-Thomism), problem solving (experimentalism), or finding the self (existentialism)" (p. 58)? Thus, Simon's first question above is a crucial one in the consideration of education. As one ponders 2: 64 the "desired versions," or version of education, the question of accountability necessarily arises. That is, what with the multiplicity of cultural views, whether philosophical or selective tolerance of difference, or postmodernists' skeptical stance towards history, authority and truth claims, or metanarratives, how does one confidently begin to implement a legitimate "version of a future human community"? Do we discard "legitimate"? And, concerning how we should "relate to other people," who is to say and to what end? Here then is a promising agenda in the initiation of a partnership for schools to explore as a learning experience and for businesses to retain their ethical sense in an era that has tested that sensibility. Related to teacher isolationism, Welker (1992) found that "teachers were surprisingly confident and strong about their opinions on teaching, [but] they rarely if ever turned to evidence beyond personal experience to justify their professional preferences" (p. 89). Contenta's (1993) perspective provides one possible explanation for this. He says: The school system desperately needs better teachers, but even the most able have difficulty sustaining their commitment. Like their students, they too are victims of a system where hierarchy reigns and rocking the boat is not tolerated...They seem forever shadowed by a mind-numbing awareness of how immensely complex the problems with schools are and, feeling powerless in the face of the hidden curriculum, resignation is their lot. (p. 27) Marshall and Tucker (1992) explain a similar perception of educators as follows: In a Taylorist system like the public schools, it makes very little sense to invest heavily in the recruitment, selection, and training of front-line staff—in this case teachers. After all, they are interchangeable parts, not to be relied on for independent judgment, there to do as they are told. Teacher compensation systems are very revealing in that respect. After teachers reach about twelve years of service, they typically get only cost-of-living raises...This is hardly the view one would take if one valued the professional competence of teachers as we value the professional competence of lawyers, architects, or accountants. It is the way we view counter workers in a fast-food restaurant, (p. 116f) 2: 65 Marshall and Tucker's depiction of one aspect of the systemic structure and purposes of education provides a harsh challenge to the idea of teacher professionalism. Their accurate portrayal of the pay scale of teachers, which is but one systemic element of education, is an indicator of the low value that society ascribes to educators. This is not surprising, the authors are saying, given that the system of education is structured after Taylorist principles. 2 4 Education is a distinct culture comprised of such systemic factors as conduct, assumptions, practice, personnel and management, and so on. Lowe's (1997) work on the culture of education informs us that "schoolteaching [sjc], never seen as more than a marginal profession," leaves teachers in an identity quandary (p. 150). According to Marshall and Tucker teachers are blue-collar workers whereas business is a white-collar culture; educators are in the "business" of teaching adolescents and children whereas business is occupied with survival and profit. According to Gayton (1989): "It is important for education managers to be aware that each community and school district has its own culture and to adjust to these difference [sjc]" (p. 18). Pai and Adler (1997) clarify that, "each district or school has its own 'lingo,' rules concerning the conduct of its members, and such unique 'rites of passage' as initiation, induction, and commencement ceremonies...What this means is that a person moving from one system to another needs to learn a new culture if she is to function effectively" (p. 141). Erickson (1991), in a somewhat contentious work on school culture, asks: "Why bother with the notion of culture when thinking about 2 4 I speak more on Frederick Taylor's influence in education in the next section. 2: 66 schools?" His answer, however, runs counter to findings by other researchers, such as Contenta (1993), Cuban (1984) or D. Hargreaves (1995). Regarding how the culture of education is borne out in practice Bacharach and Shedd (1989), and which I discussed earlier regarding teachers' roles, comment: Time schedules, physical structures, one-teacher-per-class staffing patterns and high teacher/administrator ratios make day-to-day contact with other adults haphazard...Norms of "non-interference" discourage the asking and offering of advice...Curriculum policies, [including efforts to reform education] if they do not square with a teacher's judgment of what his or her students need or are capable of learning, often go unobserved and unenforced, (p. 146) They insist that in practice, education continues to foster a spirit of non-collaborative, judgemental and hierarchical structures that prevent trust, wider spread respect among community members. Low pay, high stress, and lack of inclusion by management or government reinforce "a hierarchical teacher-pupil relationship" (p. 261), which is also perpetuated in institutions of higher learning (Contenta, 1993). In a comparison between education and major corporations, Marshall and Tucker (1992) suggest that in education, "very little is invested," and that "we can reasonably conclude that teachers are not regarded as the key to the success of schools, all the rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding—management is" (p. 117). Bacharach and Shedd (1989) conclude that, "the top-down management techniques that were sources of efficiency in an earlier era have grown increasingly inefficient in today's more specialized, varied and variable product markets" (p. 151), a point that is corroborated by Alexander (1997) and Eurich (1985) in their works. Bacharach and Shedd point out another cultural characteristic of education that actually finds convergence in business: Studies of innovation in school systems generated conclusions that were even more at odds with traditional management models. Schools that were 2: 67 particularly innovative were found to have 'norms of collegiality' and 'norms of continuous improvement' that minimize status differences between administrators and teachers, engage all staff members in planning new programs, and cultivate an on-going critical dialogue on how school programs and every individual's performance might be improved, (p. 149) Bosetti, Landry, and Miklos (1989) critique what is called the dominant rationalist model of administration, particularly that this model "emphasizes regulation and power rather than choice in public administration." The importance of the role of administration in the success, or failure, of an innovation is borne out in practice according to Brady (1985) and developed further with the inclusion of higher education in Gift, Veal, Holland, Johnson and McCarthy (1995), and is another factor to consider in education. Miller and Seller (1990) note: Although the teacher is the actual implementor of a new program, the roles of the principal...and superintendent as support to teachers are equally important..Implementation success can depend a great deal on the overt signs of support for the new program given by principals and superintendents, for example, budgetary actions, comments made in public, and personal interest shown in the progress of the implementation. Principals who frequently discuss the implementation with their staff meetings, who personally talk with individual teachers about the new program and assist them in solving problems show a greater success in implementation in their schools than principals who do not engage in these activities, (p. 283) Given the systemic structure and nature of education, the successful articulation of its purposes and the sustainability of new programs are greatly influenced, either positively or negatively, by the intervention of management. Other systemic factors need to be in place at the same time, however, for successful programs to be achieved. Marshall and Tucker (1992) contend: Loyalty to the system, not contribution to student performance, is thus the primary criterion for success in the schools. That is why new methods of proven effectiveness are so often ignored. If implementing the innovation is likely to arouse the wrath of anyone inside or outside the system, it is quietly shelved, along with the person who promoted it. The system's primary obligation is not to its students, but to itself, (p. 110) 2: 68 That is, education may have wonderfully articulated purposes, but its primary objective is the preservation of its status quo (Cuban, 1984; Gibbons, 1990). Contenta (1993), speaking about the structure of education, claims: "Nothing enforces routines like hierarchy with its rigid, lockstep lines of command designed to keep people in their allotted places...lndividual schools have principals, department heads, and classroom teachers supervising students. Factories have superintendents, department heads, supervisors running the plant and overseeing workers" (p. 16). With the earlier discussion of educational purposes in mind, the descriptions of the culture of education leave serious concerns about the discrepancy between purposes and practice. These additional systemic factors of structure and governance need to be taken into account as business and education consider partnering. Education itself is a paradoxical institution of learning but that also suffers from old practices of questionable relevance or that are seriously deficient. Education is a system whose complexity is compounded by contradictions and is in need of uncovering the perceptions of itself. Randall (1989) notes that at a particular Conference Board conference dealing with education, "several of our members concluded that the problems in public education were so great that the only solution was to blow up the system and start over. At our wrap-up session, those same individuals also quickly realized that we would not know how to put the system back together" (p. 48). This is a significant admission both of the complexity of education and of the specialization that it may require as well as the lack of alternatives. The longevity of education is ensured by government mandate and by public funding, which in turn ensures protection from the world, at least to the degree that 2: 69 regardless, or in spite, of the economy, schooling will continue. Hodas (1996), in his critique of education in the light of technological change, was inspired to write: Even the most complacent bureaucracies direct some incentives at their workers. These may be monetary, in the form of performance bonuses or stock options, career enhancing in the form of promotions, or sanctions like demotion and the consequent loss of authority and responsibility. Schools generally offer none of these. Instead they proffer to good and bad alike a level of job security that would be the envy of a Japanese sarariman: 2 5 unless you commit a felony or espouse views unpopular in your community you are essentially guaranteed employment for as long as you like, no matter what the quality of your work. Teachers cannot be demoted: there is no position of lesser authority or responsibility within schools. Just as students are essentially rewarded with promotion for filling seats and not causing trouble, so teachers are paid and promoted on the basis of seniority and credentials rather than performance. Providing they have not violated some school norm it is not uncommon for teachers or administrators who demonstrate incompetence at their assigned tasks to be transferred, or even promoted to off-line positions of higher authority rather than being fired, demoted or retrained. Perversely, the only path to formally recognized increase in status for dedicated, talented teachers is to stop teaching, to change jobs and become administrators or consultants, (p. 201) Hodas' stinging sentiment above could be easily disregarded as overstated cynicism were it not for corroborating comments from other researchers, such as Contenta (1993) in his case studies of several Canadian schools, or Cuban's (1984) historical picture of education as a paradigm of little change, and Lowe's (1997) similar findings in a study of schooling since the 1960s. The point is not that educators have different values than business people, which is evident. The point is educators face different systemic factors compared to business that interfere with their identity, their practices, their easy comparison with other workplace workers, and their self- perception as professionals/For business-education partnerships—and for systems 2 5 Literally, "salary man." The sarariman is the committed and loyal worker who received job security plus numerous benefits. 2: 70 interested in collaborating in some way with education—this information provides another backdrop against which such interactions take place. Due to the many variables in the educational culture and process, such as "student background and learning style," methods, or curriculum (see Cornbleth, 1990; Doll, 1993; Goodlad, 1986; Goodson, 1995b; Hunter & Scheirer, 1988; Miller & Seller, 1990; Ornstein & Hunkins, 1993), Marshall and Tucker (1992) contend: Teachers and principals cannot be held accountable for student performance outcomes for two reasons: they have never been clearly specified, and in any case, they are responsible not for student performance outcomes but for following the rules laid out in the design standards. If following the rules does not produce the desired result, that is somebody else's problem, not theirs...Design standards and Tayloristic organizations go together like pieces of a puzzle, (p. 145) This cultural drama that the authors unfold speaks of the structural composition of education. Eurich (1985) and Marshall and Tucker (1992) note that current education's beginning is directly related to the Industrial Revolution along with Franklin Bobbin's adaptation of Frederick Taylor's scientific approach to business. It was then that school buildings began to be erected to house large numbers of young people; a practice that not only continues today but that has been perfected as examples of economic decision making (Hathaway, 1991). How is business or any community organization to work with education to any positive end if education is an institution with little hope of changing and resistant to reform? What hope is there that any business-education partnerships could possibly be positive, mutually benefiting arrangements? These are just a sample of questions that need to be considered prior to business and education partnering together. 2: 71 Taylor's Legacy Frederick Taylor's work in business had an influence on education as well through the application by well-meaning and influential individuals in education. It was Franklin Bobbitt, an educator at the turn of the 19 t h century, who translated Frederick Taylor's principles of scientific management into a form to be employed in education. Marshall and Tucker (1992) report: [Bobbitt] "believed with Taylor that efficiency depended on 'centralization of authority and definite direction by the supervisors of all processes performed...The worker [that is the teacher]...must be kept supplied with the detailed instructions as to the work to be done, the standards to be reached, the methods to be employed, and the appliances to be used....'" Thus were the principles of scientific management used to elevate the authority of the supervisors and limit the freedom of the teacher, (cited p. 17) Marshall and Tucker state that in a Taylorist-based organization, "learning flows in only one direction—from the top of the organization to the bottom. Indeed, the adversarial relationships in a Taylorist organization actually impede the flow of information in any direction...[whereas] in the learning organization, information flows freely in all directions" (p. 101). Jones (1992) stresses the importance of management to shed the hierarchical approach to management for a collegial and collaborative venture, which includes the willingness to participate in the learning process and which excludes static control. Hull (1997) believes that a result of the effects of Taylorism is that "we still harbor suspicions, even when choosing to introduce new forms of organization, that our workers won't adapt to or thrive in these new work environments" (p. 14). Although these concerns by Jones and Hull could be addressed there still would be problems in education, because other systemic factors weighing in on the system of education have been left. In at least one way business and education could have a similar point of comparison. The 2: 72 Tayloristic influence continues today in business as well as in education where it may even have a greater hold. Education and the Economy In a report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1990) a guest editorialist states: It was becoming clear to business that the future survival of their businesses and industries may well depend not only on what is happening in the board room, but also upon what is happening in the classroom...As a consequence, business leaders are finding it necessary to become more interested, involved and committed to the importancepf education in secondary schools, (p. 1) In a related article, Carnoy (1997) notes that, "youth with secondary education are increasingly at risk in the labor market, in large part because both the education system and employers regard them as inadequately prepared for higher-skilled, flexible jobs" (p. 37). This "risk" factor is one that has been raised by other concerned writers who argue the immediate connection between the economy and education (e.g., Jarvis, 1988). The implication for education, beyond the suggested superiority of business in the management of education, is that it is not meeting the needs of the changing workplace by adequately preparing young adults. One of the strongest points used to argue for business-education partnerships is the sate of the economy. Carnoy (1997) claims that the socio-cultural structure, or its cultural system, is directly linked to work culture (p. 24). Jones (1992), commenting on the important role that government has in the educational process, indicates there is a correlation between a country's economic well-being and the training of its people (p. 182; also Schweitzer, Crocker & Gilliss, 1995, p. 8), a point made earlier in the discussion on educational purposes. Also, some research findings indicate there is a connection between literacy, education and a nation's economic 2: 73 well-being (Carnoy, 1997: 24; Hull, 1997). Part of these findings claim that if graduates and school-leavers are unable to secure and maintain long-term employment due to deficient preparations, then the nation loses "the buying power of a significant segment of the population" (Hull, p. 9). But Hull cautions that there are "key societal problems" and "larger ills" that need to be considered that affect the achievement of educational goals (p. 11; see also Mikeram, 1966; Steele, 1992). She goes on to counter the literacy and economy connection by pointing to historical progress and high successes in commerce during times when literacy, for instance, was not at a high level, as if "school degrees and literacy tests are the measures of our workers" (cited p. 15). Nevertheless, on the basis of the changes that IT has brought to the workplace and according to the Education Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1994), education equates with training for work "in order to compete successfully in an emerging knowledge-based economy" (p. v). In a Sacramento Business Journal (1997) article about the education system in California, one businessperson claimed: 'The relationship between the economy and public schools is not one-way. A strong education system supports the economy" (p. 169). Elsewhere the Education Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce states that, "all Canadians must recognize the connection between jobs and learning—and understand that the critical competitive advantage for individuals, corporations and countries as a whole, lies in the advancement of knowledge and skills" (p. 3). The same Education Committee argues also that because the nature of the economic advantage is a national issue, provincialism is transcended. Hence, 2: 74 "lifelong learning" as a cultural commitment is prescribed along with "international benchmarks for excellence" (p. 5). 2 6 Clendenin (1989) claims: "Our collective fate is bound up with their [students] individual fates, and it is in [society's] interest for them to succeed. Under the current system, many of them will not" (p. 10). Darr (1989) suggests, "the only way to address youth unemployment in the long run [is] through improved education" (p. 37). A n d the University of Warwick's Centre for Education and Industry (1995) states in one of its online research documents: If education and training systems are to tackle these problems [of unemployment and preparation of people for the workforce], they must be based not on the transmission of existing knowledge and skills but on an understanding of the learning needed to underpin the future needs of our society and its industrial and economic base. Instead of a system which perpetuates unfounded assumptions about people's capacities to learn and embodies arbitrary distinctions between, for example, 'academic' and 'vocational' education, what is needed is an approach which motivates individuals and encourages and supports learning at all stages of their lives....Key to the achievement of this will be the development of a mass participation system of post-compulsory education and training, embodying a much greater diversity of approaches in order to match the increasingly varied needs of the learners involved. Young people in particular will need at this stage not just to acquire existing skills, knowledge and techniques but to learn how to apply them creatively and in new contexts, and to be motivated to carry on learning as necessary throughout their lives. ( fac/cei/lftf.html#context) In short there is a dynamic link between education and the economy of which business is in the forefront. Whether research findings, such as from the University of Warwick, Hull (1997) and other researchers (e.g., Oblinger & Verville, 1998), or the calls from business for educational accountability in the preparation of youth for eventual inclusion in the workplace, the message is similar: education has a social 2 6 In these "international benchmarks," cultural differences are ignored, whether geographical cultures (e.g., Germany, Japan, North America), or sub-cultures (e.g., education, business, ethnic, religious). 2: 75 expectation (read mandate) to educate its people that includes preparation for the workplace. Education has a utilitarian function, which Townley (1989) explains, "not only because it relates to the quality and productivity of the workforce and the competitiveness of...industry, but because it is the single most important factor in fighting poverty, homelessness, drug addiction and crime" (p. 3). But although education may be viewed as a grand social solution to a nation's ills, its ability to perform its duties is handicapped itself. Similarly with Hull (1997) and Eggleston (1992), Clendenin (1989) sees this and continues: "Business faces a paradox of imperatives: urgency and patience. We need a sense of urgency because the problems in education threaten our economic and social health; we need patience because these problems are numerous and deeply rooted in the larger troubles of society" (p. 7). The system of education, comprised of diverse roles and expected, is, as stated in the report of the OECD (1990), "a potent mixture" (p. 7), and "more extensive and complex than in the past" (p. 98). This understanding of education and its connection with the rest of society gives us a glimpse of the complexity we are facing regarding education and business-education partnerships. One means of attending to some of the problems in education is by anticipating the needs of its graduates. Carnoy (1997) argues in an OECD report that, "workers that do best in flexible, learning organizations are good both at solving problems individually—the higher order thinking skills normally learned by students going on to post-secondary education—and, as important, at working with others in teams to innovate and motivate—a [sic] skill that is hardly touched upon in our present educational system" (p. 35). The OECD report urges: "Education for the 2: 76 information age therefore should develop workers who have higher order problem- solving skills andwho can help organize more learning. This suggests profound change in the curriculum of schools and in job training programs" (italics in original; p. 35). Darrah (1997) states that, "the main challenge for employers is to attract properly skilled individuals" (p. 252). The expectation is that education will fulfill, or help to fulfill, the demand for "skilled individuals." According to Marshall and Tucker (1992), "the emerging consensus on the skills needed to power a modern economy" is summed up as: A high capacity of abstract, conceptual thinking; the ability to apply that capacity for abstract thought to complex real-world problems... the capacity to function effectively in an environment in which communication skills are vital... the ability to work easily and well with others, and the skill required to resolve conflicts that arise with colleagues and assume responsibility for the work that needs to be done without requiring much supervision, (p. 80) A n d according to Hull (1997), there is an expectation by industry that individuals will be prepared with the following "basic skill groups that employers believe currently are important:" Knowing how to learn Reading, writing, and computation Listening and oral communication Creative thinking and problem solving Self-esteem, goal setting/motivation, and personal/career development Interpersonal skills, negotiation, and teamwork Organizational effectiveness and leadership, (cited p. 8) From the information above the lists of skills suit the overarching list of workplace skills assembled, for example, by the Conference Board. What is perhaps confusing in the discussion of "basic skill groups" and lists, such as we see here, are the mixed 2: 77 messages. The economic link between education and business is established, but the necessary skills, which are represented in curriculum documents, are arguably taught in education. Therefore, what are the actual problems and where do they lie? Regarding the students of North American schooling, Marshall and Tucker (1992) state that: 'There is no school-to-work transition program for these students [who decide against the university track], the vast majority of whom will constitute our front-line work force...they will get an unskilled, low-pay job for a while [sic], leave it, go on unemployment, get another job like the first one, and continue in this way" (p. 206). Perhaps it is similar thinking that causes Townley (1989) to claim: "It is a bitter irony that at a time of unprecedented high-tech affluence, virtually full employment and our highest level of mean education achievement, our school systems are producing so many 'products' subject to recall" (p. 4). That boom economy may have passed but the need for the alignment of interests is still there, and it might seem that the business-education partnership is one way of addressing it as the basis of a conversation or exchange of ideas—among educators, business people and students—rather than simply instituting better, more efficient transition programs. Contrary to Marshall and Tucker (1992) or Townley (1989), Olson (1997) reports on programs in place that demonstrate a collaborative effort on the part of education and business in student transition to the workforce (also Saunders, 1993; Steinberg, 1998). On a local plain, some school districts throughout British Columbia, Canada, for example, have established a curriculum of work experience for the purpose of gaining firsthand experience in businesses, which the Provincial Ministry of Education terms "partnership," to complete graduation requirements. Whether or 2: 78 not such benefits are practical or enjoyed is another topic. The point here is that organizations provide lists of desirable skills sought in employees and that education will accommodate these "lists" in the curriculum. Cultural considerations and partnership ramifications notwithstanding, the economic link with education is clear. How and what to do are wrapped up in different suggestions each implying a particular value set on educational purposes. Are partnerships the answer? Business argues in favor of partnerships in order to ensure a ready workforce and sustainable economy. Critics demand a pure education liberated from any shackles and completely funded by government. Perceptions, meanwhile, of what education should be doing and for whom, are diverse, covering a spectrum from purposes and form to structure. Educational Reform With the connection between education and the economy established earlier, and concerns about the role of education in society, calls for educational reform are plenty (see Popkewitz, 1995). Just as systemic factors in education are in need of clarification, so, too, are the perceptions of what is needed for reform in education. In a report concerning the role of children in society because of the current and near future challenges and changes to the family, Carnoy (1997) argues that the school needs to be transformed "to make it more open to the community, and accordingly, to provide the public school system with better trained personnel, more resources, better physical facilities, and more innovative management" (p. 42). The inclusion of community in the process of educational reform appears to be a reasonable expectation, but the lack of examples indicates that this, too, is a problematic endeavor (see Prawat, 1996). Nonetheless, Lowe (1997) believes that a growing 2: 79 popular middle class has "involved themselves more than ever before in support and ancillary activities around their own children's schooling" (p. 68). This has moved to further influence the curriculum and schooling as parents want to ensure "that the education system remained the key agent for the intergenerational transmission of social advantage...Curricula, both formal and informal, had become as never before the passports to secure employment and full acceptance among the enlarged professions" (p. 69). Despite the economic correlation between education and the workforce, Schweitzer, Crocker and Gilliss (1995) contend, "education does not provide good preparation for the working life of those students who are not academically inclined" (p. 47), a point reiterated in the literature (for example, Contenta, 1993; Marshall & Tucker, 1992). Eggleston (1992) reports that the British education system has been proactive for a number of years in student employability at the end of their schooling, an arrangement that also finds some convergences in other European countries (Marshall & Tucker, 1992). Although the transition from school to workforce would seem to be a necessary instrumental part of schooling, according to various researchers it is not practiced effectively or consistently, as I have already shown (Contenta, 1993; Eurich, 1985; Gibbons, 1990; Marshall & Tucker, 1992). A principal reason for educational reform is so-called relevancy. That is, education is charged with being out of synch with the realities and needs of society in this information age. In business, the matter of relevancy is, theoretically speaking, readily solvable: alter marketing, make changes to the business plan, and enact the necessary procedures to implement the required changes. In education, however, the question of relevancy is examinable in two ways. First, it is arguable that 2: 80 educational practice is relevant especially to its own culture. That is, the culture of education is structured such that it perpetuates a status quo because its programs are completely related to, and developed for and within, that systemic structure (Hodas, 1996; Marshall & Tucker, 1992; Welker, 1992). Second, education is not relevant to the greater needs of society. That is, high school leavers are ill-prepared for life after school (Alexander, 1997; Carnoy, 1997; Contenta, 1993; Davis, 1993; Gibbons, 1990, Marshall & Tucker, 1992). Current formalized education has strong roots in the Industrial Revolution but is now at odds with its foster parent, business. That is, the principles that were used to direct business were argued to have "worked brilliantly for American private enterprise and there was no reason...why it should not work for the schools" (Marshall & Tucker, 1992, p. 16). Contenta (1993), commenting on Canadian education's historical development, states: "[EgertonJ Ryerson was very much adopting the industrial model of organization—a not surprising result given that mass education followed urban industrialization" (p. 15). In a report for the Conference Board, Lund (1989) states, "success in education reform resulted where business leadership could influence the policies of community-wide education coalitions, compacts and collaborations" (p. xiii). For the Conference Board, education reform is associated with a national agenda and economic concerns. Thus, the primary purpose of education reform from a business (and government) standpoint appears to be economic utilitarianism. Davis (1993), who comments on the education paradigm and workplace skills, claims that schooling tends to train for a paradigm no longer functionally appropriate, a problem, it seems, that is neither new nor readily solved (see Cuban, 2: 81 1984; Gibbons, 1990, 1976). Marshall and Tucker (1992) proclaim in agreement that, "most analysts now agree that the changing workplace demands not simply higher levels of mastery of the core subjects, but a different kind of education...Our curriculum reflects the needs of the economy of fifty years ago as does the performance of the average student" (p. 79-80), which has sparked a number of calls for educational reform from different organizations (Ashwell & Caropreso, 1989; Berman, 1987; Erickson, 1991;OECD, 1997; United States Department of Education, 1996). Similarly Resnick and Wirt (1996) point out that the work pattern that arose out of industrialization was "based on efficiencies of mass production...But conditions have changed, and the old system is no longer working" (p. 2-3) due largely to the expansion of information technology and transportation. In an article in The Business Journal (1997) dealing with educational reform, the author states: "So before we rewrite the business plan for education, let's take a look at the good we've done...Education's not yet a complete disaster; there's still time to salvage it" (p. 169). One way to "salvage it," according to Lund (1989), is business endorsed "school 'choice' and school-based management programs as exciting new prospects for achieving education reform" (p. xiv). The Education Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1994) in a report to the government of Canada recommends active assistance in supplementing education or educational reform. Among the many action steps it recommends toward a policy of lifelong learning, four are pertinent to this discussion: 2 7 The understanding of "training" is left open. Davis is not implying school's are training grounds but that school-leavers are prepared for an era that no longer suits current social and workforce needs. The question, then, is what are students presently "trained" for if that is the case? 2: 82 Action 3 1 : Bring the world of work into schools to ensure young people are ready to enter the world of work when they leave school; Action 36 : Find new ways of using technology and of tailoring learning to the needs of the individual so that people have more opportunities to learn; Action 37 : Create a learning network based on technology links; Action 4 2 : Put in place an effective Canada-wide communications campaign to support learning throughout life. (p. 6) All of these suggestions are worthwhile in their own right, but what is lacking is a consideration of how they might be implemented in the current education system, although suggestions exist elsewhere (Barron & Orwig, 1995; Benders, de Haan & Benett, 1995; Busch, 1995; Colley, Gale & Harris, 1994; Grint& Gill, 1995; Kay, 1992 ; Knowledge Architecture, n.d.; Lumley & Bailey, 1993; McGrath & Hollingshead, 1994; Murphy & Pardeck, 1 9 91 ; Persichitte, 1995; Rockmore, 1995; Shashaani, 1994; Williams, 1994; Willinsky & Forssman, 1996). In addition, using technology to enable students so far has been a greater challenge than schools can effectively accommodate, especially for females (Busch, 1995; Kay, 1992; Klawe & Leveson, 1995; McLaughlin, 1991; Murphy & Pardeck, 1991). Berman (1987) quotes the education historian. Professor Peter Dobkin Hall of Yale University who says: If business seriously intends to shape the education agenda in the United States, it must set its sights more broadly. It must fully accept the fact that the business corporation is an instrument of social change—whether or not it is willing to exercise its power for change. The major waves of American education reform originated in and were carried forward by socially concerned business communities that freely acknowledged the ties between private profit and the public good, (cited p. 2) Reminiscent of Alexander's (1997) description of business' social responsibility, Hall's comment fails to take stock of the social changes it has effected. Do we really want to 2: 8 3 see education follow in the footsteps of business or be directed by business? Some of "us" will respond in the affirmative, seeing business and education in partnerships as a great way to implement educational reform while increasing profits. Others of "us" will look abroad and see what business is capable of accomplishing in the likes of Enron or WorldCom, for example, and have doubts about any collaborative arrangements with business. Again, the two sides belie more complexity. A n d conversely according to Marsha Levine, American Federation of Teachers: A "restructured" school relies on teachers' expertise in designing and implementing learning environments. It recognizes the importance of people working together by providing time for teachers to talk shop, learn from one another, get feedback, and address the problems they share. These are the characteristics of smart work places—and we have learned a lot about them from business, (cited in Berman, 1987, p. 29) The concept of teachers taking charge is imperiled by the forces acting against them, both within and outside the system of education as has been shown (Cuban, 1984; Lesourne, 1988; Lowe, 1997). This suggested reform mechanism coupled with doubts in society (Benevides, 1997; Contenta, 1993; Marshall & Tucker, 1992) seems doomed to fail at the start. Calls for educational reform arise from a tension between "ought" (to change or reform) and "is" (status quo or usual practice). Business along with society is unhappy with the way education currently operates, or is. Researchers and critics have also commented at length on education's practice (Contenta, 1993; Cuban, 1984; Gibbons, 1990; Marshall & Tucker, 1992). Both education and business make suggestions about change, or how education ought to be. McLean (1991) reasons: "Because the practical inevitably involves an element of moral judgment, practitioners must retain a concern with what 'ought' to be. But the question 2: 84 remains—is the inculcation of a set of ideals about how teachers should act sufficient [for example] in a teacher education program? Will knowledge of the 'shoulds' enable novices to reach those ideals in their own practice" (p. 228)? Consideration of how business-education partnerships could improve upon such problems is an additional question we need to ask. Or would partnerships compound the issue? Some researchers present obligations, sometimes with recipes on how to enact the desired change. As an example, Glasser (1993) insists that we musf'give up boss-management" (p. 2), and Simmons and Pitman (1994) state that teachers needto accept change. Giroux (1995) preaches an essentially Marxist list of oughts that would have the teacher be a political activist (p. 374ff). Lesourne (1988), commenting on the structure and politics of teaching, suggests that, "the best approach would be to create the conditions in order for the teachers to take charge of change and become its implementers" (p. 325). 2 8 The language of Zehm and Kottler (1995) in their recommendations for educational change includes "find," "make," "be," and "instill." Ornstein (1995), in his introduction about some of the critical theoretical perspectives, raises the issue concerning the need'for teachers to "become conscious of the need to create a new dialogue with their students [and I would include pre-service teachers]: whereby they openly examine their inner thoughts and feelings and act out their visions of a better, more democratic and egalitarian world" (p. 15), or the "need for face-to-face relationships, honest dialogue, and authentic encounters" (p. 16). 2 8 Lesourne says, "le mieux serait de chercher a creer les conditions pour que les enseignants eux- memes...reprennent le changement a leur compte et en deviennent les moteurs" (p. 325). 2: 85 One area of suggested reform in education is the professional development of teachers and administration. Jones (1992) maintains: "Staff training and development are the basis for quality in teaching performance, which means an improved service to their customers, encompassing individual pupils, students and parents; student teachers; in-service teachers; and individuals and employers from the business and industrial sector" (p. 177). Concerning the administrative structure of education, she urges: Educational and training organisations will need to develop less hierarchical, more collaborative cultures in order to develop a partnership with their customers in which they are open to 'influence' from them..The need to become more flexible and 'customer friendly' becomes even more urgent as education, just as industry, increasingly needs to attract and cater for the non- traditional student in the 1990s. (p. 150) The impetus to change in this suggestion is related to "market" pressures and not because there is something inherently wrong with the current practice of educational governance. Jones explains: The cost of customer dissatisfaction in education will increasingly figure as schools, further education colleges and colleges of higher education, compete to attract customers—increasingly the basis of their funding. Those that do not provide an effective, flexible, customer-oriented service will become less popular, and ultimately go out of business, (p. 151) Townley (1989) believes that: "Increasingly, companies have concluded that for educational reform to succeed, schools must be restructured from the bottom up. That's why a number of companies are targeting more of their resources onto elementary and secondary education" (p. 4). Giacquinta, Bauer and Levin (1993) suggest, "to be effective linking agents for [helping parents/families] in this process of educational change at home, schools must undergo substantial changes themselves and in their relations with families" (p. 185), a theme echoed by the OECD (Carnoy, 2: 86 1997). Bacharach (1988) states: "If schools are going to help disadvantaged students, teachers need "skills in responding to students' life experiences, purpose, and perspectives. To the degree that standardization inhibits these efforts, an argument can be made that standardization only provides an illusion of equality and an obstacle to equity" (p. 494) in education. Clendenin (1989) offers examples of projects where business has gone in and worked with, or provided on going workshops for, school administrators because "management is seldom a strength in schools" (p. 8), 2 9 or because business believes it can provide alternative practices that could greatly benefit education (Rigden, 1995). Robertson (1998) concludes in her book about education and enterprise: "Although they are fond of telling teachers how schools must operate more like businesses, edu- crats [presumably politicians and administrators] implement human resource development decisions that would be laughed out of business school" (p. 186). Despite calls for educational reform, there is a problem of consistency. That is the critics who demand a business-like system of education are incapable of implementing the changes they demand in some educational areas because of they lack the knowledge and skills to do so. The other reason for the calls for educational reform is relevancy. Lieberman (1992) asks, however, "what do we do with school's [and I would add individuals] that for complex reasons of history, culture, and context, don't or can't change? Do we tell them what to do? And does that do any good?...Whose 2 9 Although the examples given have to do with business and commerce, the reference to management in schools speaks to the hierarchical culture one tends to find there, according to, and convergent with, a number of writers (Bacharach & Shedd, 1989; Hargreaves, 1995; Hodas, 1996; Lowe, 1997; Marshall & Tucker, 1992). 2: 87 reality do we act upon?" (p. 6). Liberman's question is a critical one throughout the discussion of education and business-education partnerships, particularly regarding purposes. There is no consensus of opinion about what needs to change in education, how to go about it, who should implement it, or to what end. Pai and Adler (1997) urge that, "an understanding of the school-culture relationship is important in developing a theoretical perspective from which to assess and interpret the respective roles of school and society in a situation where educational reforms are needed" (p. 139). This point is a call to a systemic consideration and shared responsibilities. In an open challenge to calls for educational reform, they continue: The reformers simply failed to understand that the school is only one of a multitude of institutions in our society and that no amount of tinkering with any single institution could bring about fundamental social, economic, or moral changes. On the contrary, without major social changes, educational reforms are bound to have minimal impact on our lives because the school as a specialized social institution reflects the culture of the larger society, (p. 140) Pai and Adler are correct in assessing the complexity of the problem of educational reform as being systemically connected with society, an idea that converges with other findings concerning education in general (Ashwell & Caropreso, 1989; Carnoy, 1997; Eggelston, 1992; Hull, 1997,OECD, 1997). Reasons for educational reform are as variegated as the suggestions of how to proceed with change. So far I have shown the problems apparently in need of reform are the school, the school and society, the curriculum or the administration. Contenta (1993), in a comment about reform in education, cites Ron Watts, vice- chancellor of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, who states: "Ultimately, I think we've been beating around the wrong bush all along. It's not the curriculum that's 2: 88 the answer, it's the teacher. A lousy curriculum taught by a brilliant teacher will bring the student alive. A superb curriculum taught by a lousy teacher will kill him" (p. 27). Robertson (1998) cites Ted Byfield of the FinancialPost who judged, "we have a public system completely divorced from self-evident reality that cannot or will not change. So there can be only one solution: get education away from the public sector and let it be market driven...The 'professionals' plainly do not know what they're doing" (p. 35). In these cases, teachers are viewed as the problem with education and where reform needs to take place. A counter to the blame shift onto teachers comes from Marshall and Tucker (1992) who note in their writings on education and the economy that many teachers "felt that some parents were not willing to be accountable for their own children but were quite willing to hold the schools accountable for things over which the school had no control" (p. 122). A long with teachers and parents as additional educational problems, educators on a wide scale are included. Darling-Hammond (1993) notes that: Efforts to create more socially connected "learning communities" are buttressed by research evidence on the importance of alternative organizational arrangements—smaller schools fostering caring, common learning experiences of relevance to students, positive faculty and peer relations, cooperative work, shared values, and participation of parents, teachers and students, (p. xviii) Despite her observation of creative and humane efforts, the "adventure" of education remains largely unchanged (Contenta, 1993; Cuban, 1982, 1984). Part of the rationale for educational change is found indirectly in another OECD (1997) report on the economy and learning in which we read, "the information revolution is obviously bringing the world closer together, bridging the gaps of physical distance. It affords all of us, therefore, the opportunities to learn from people who are far 2: 89 away—not only physically, but also culturally. In this sense, it makes creativity and innovation even more formidable forces for economic growth" (p. 47). Examples of the integrative role of IT between school and community are reported by Holte (1995) and Jonassen (1995). Carnoy (1997), in another OECD report, suggests a number of educational changes: Learning in schools should itself be increasingly organized in a cooperative fashion where students study in groups, present group work, and often get evaluated as a group...[and] curriculum should include the development of networking, motivational, and teaching skills so that students develop a clear understanding of human behavior and the understanding of group processes. In the learning-centered environment of the information age, the process of learning and the motivation to learn should become endogenous to curriculum itself, (p. 35) This is a critical matter for which the role of community-education partnerships may be ready made. From the foregoing information, two questions arise: Could business- education partnerships adequately prepare young people for the (transition to the) workforce? Dana (1994) believes so. And how could the systems of education and business dispassionately inform each other so that the decision to partner could be the most beneficial to students? Although I do not delve further into these questions, I raise them here as points in need of discussion by education stakeholders. Be that as it may, education as a complex system continues to resist not only systemic reform but also its umbilical link to the economy. One means of reforming education is to open it to free enterprise. Business has been a vocal advocate of education reform. Foster (1989) challenges: 'The metaphor used here [to describe business-education partnership progress] is 'A third wave,' but I am not sure that is correct. We need an earthquake that causes a tidal wave before we are going to get the type of educational reform that is necessary" (p. 2: 90 64). Lisa Benevides, in a Boston Business Journal (1997) article promoting a strong call for educational reform notes, '"if existing schools can't take care of students, the marketplace will,' said Michael Sandler, CEO of EduVentures, which offers for-profit education companies banking and consulting services." For business, the people who will eventually occupy places in the workforce will come from either the educational institutions within society or else from abroad if suitable local workers are not available. Galbraith (1967), in his work on modern technology and the state, claims, "the industrial system must rely on the state for trained and educated manpower, now the decisive factor of production" (p. 391). By the same token, however, he adds: T h e industrial system has induced an enormous expansion in education. This can only be welcomed. But unless its tendencies are clearly foreseen and strongly resisted, it will place a preclusive emphasis on education that most serves the needs, but least questions the goals, of that system" (p. 371). To ensure that business' ideals are not given preeminence in educational purposes, people must become educated about the implications of the "industrial state" before its ambitious goals become the guiding principles of the whole state. Robertson (1998) reports: "Prevailing wisdom concludes that education reform is an economic imperative, driven by the best interests of young people, who will be subject to the uncontrollable appetites of the global economy" (p. 10). What is the best approach, though, to allay fears of profiteering on the backs of students? Theoretically that should entail collaborations between government, business and community with education. We can see the suggested problems of education run the gamut of possibilities, which proves all the more that the system of education is a miscomprehended complexity and not to be remedied by a singular fix. In the same 2: 91 way, business-education partnerships may not be the best solution to the needs of, and problems in, education, but critiquing them on the basis of individual systemic factors will not serve to stop them from setting up. On The Workplace I have already discussed problems with the transition from high school to the workplace, or life past school. In this section I examine the workplace in more detail to situate its role in the discussion of business-education partnerships. Upon their departure from high school, young adults likely will seek employment in a workplace. The workplace has been in the process of changing especially with the influence of IT. The workplace—that place where one performs work—covers the spectrum of possible places and can be as formal as in corporate headquarters or as informal as in the home. A n OECD (Carnoy, 1997) report views "workplace" as a specific locale where one performs work. Changes in the workplace have also come about as a result of social change. The report indicates there has been a degradation of social values. This degradation is evidenced by "a serious erosion of membership in volunteer associations, as a result of individualistic values, time constraints, and dual job families" (p. 22). A suggested consequence of the changes in social values is that the workplace environment has been affected and, consequently, has had an impact on various systemically related matters, such as skills requirements and expectations. The OECD (Carnoy, 1997) comments on workplace in a report on education and business: In the global information economy, the very nature of the work system is changing—away from permanent jobs as the locus of work toward a complex network of learning institutions, including the workplace, families, and 2: 92 community schools. Yet, these [various economic policies and] strategies continue to focus on jobs simply as jobs or to focus on social support systems based on jobs. (p. 26, italics in original) There are some social institutions—education being a major one—that fail to accommodate change and its effects in the workplace. Education is charged with suffering from outdated information or experience that in turn could adversely affect most high school leavers who will, at some stage in their life, seek employment. Al though education is not so directly affected by changes in the marketplace as is business, nonetheless, changes in the workplace have repercussions for students, possibly suffering "under information" (Eraut, 1991). In a recent study by Accenture, an international consulting corporation, and the Conference Board, 506 corporate CEOs from around the globe were asked to "name the critical external threats to their businesses and industries" (Romita, 2001). Although there were nearly twice more North American corporate CEOs asked than their European and Asian counterparts, the numbers presented in the final report indicated a "shortage of key skills" by workers as the top concern for North American and European CEOs and only of medium concern for the Asian CEOs. 3 0 Al though needs are seemingly different in Asia compared with North America or Europe, the point here is the concern about workers with skills readiness for the workplace ranks very important to business. One of the points that economic futurist Jeremy Rifkin (1995) argues in his work on the effects of IT is that the "third industrial revolution," or "high tech" change in markets around the world, has had the effect of altering the workplace (also 3 0 Caution is advised in the interpretation of the "data" presented in Romita's article. There is no reference to the actual questionnaire or how the numbers were determined. 2: 93 Benders, de Haan & Benett, 1995). The OECD (Carnoy, 1997) notes, "it is argued that certain social trends such as breakdown of family and community bonds have tended to exacerbate the damaging effects on people's lives caused by a more insecure labor market" (p. 6). The report helps to extend and build upon Rifkin's thesis. It states: The defining issue of tomorrow's work lies elsewhere [rather than in "fears of mass unemployment" due to new technologies]: Men's and women's work is being transformed by new technologies but the social institutions needed to support this change are lagging far behind...[Indeed,] institutions and the social organization of work seem to play a greater role than technology in inducing job creation or destruction, (p. 9, italics in original; see also Klawe & Leveson, 1995) Galbraith (1967) saw a similar fate. He maintains: If we continue to believe that the goals of the industrial system—the expansion of output, the companion increase in consumption, technological advance, the public images that sustain it—are coordinate with life, then all of our lives will be in the service of these goals. All other goals will be made to seem precious, unimportant, antisocial. We will be bound to the ends of the industrial system. The state will add its moral, and perhaps some of its legal, power to their enforcement, (p. 398) The implication from Galbraith, Rifkin or the OECD is that although the workplace has been/is being altered by emerging technologies in this information era, the corresponding social institutions may unwittingly acquiesce to the perceived greater good of technological change. To add to the growing list of areas in need of reform, the challenge here is to societies, their organizations and institutions that will need to create awareness of change in the workplace and its consequential effects in other social organizations and institutions. The OECD (1997) states in a report: "To reap the benefits of new technologies, firms need to change their organization in a direction which involves flatter hierarchies, employee participation and self-directed work groups. Hence, the 2: 94 organizations in the knowledge-based economy are built on multi-skilled workers, able to make decisions and cooperate across departments and units" (p. 53). The OECD's challenge to business hearkens back to Alexander's (1997) or Rifkin's (1995) comments to business about change. But it is equally a challenge to education. The hierarchies that exist in education are similar to those being encouraged to change in business. And there is an implication that other systemic factors and elements will need to be reshaped. Not all workplaces have changed or do change equally even in light of the global impact of IT. Contenta (1993) suggests, "with computers becoming as common as telephones, it's naive to assume that schools will keep their monopoly on education" (p. 193). Presumably IT will have an impact on education through technological developments and enterprising visionaries who view education as a broader economic market rather than an exclusive socializing agency. In fact, education is charged with resisting the new technologies. Hodas (1996) in his work concerning technology and school resistance, claims that, "schools' natural resistance to organizational change plays an important (though not necessarily determining) role in shaping their response to technological innovation" (p. 199). Certainly all workplaces have been affected as computing technology increases the pressure on businesses to become part of a global IT network. The "new class" of workers is comprised of those who are able to capitalize on IT, thus creating a culture of nouveau riche, according to Rifkin (1995), and a digital divide for the "have-nots" (see also Boyles, 1998). Those people, for varying reasons, who do not acculturate themselves in the IT environment will become disadvantaged, creating a class impoverished financially as well as functionally in the new economy. That there will 2: 95 be an impact on education, directly or indirectly, is certain. As this "new economy" develops, high school graduates and leavers are bound to face greater pressures to seek additional education just to get a low skills job. A report by the Education Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1994) notes that the nation's "failure to encourage technology has resulted in negative productivity growth" (p. 39), which presumably has a negative impact on employment. Certainly that is the feeling of Buchanan and Yoon (1994) who state, "technological change...lies at the heart of economic growth... [Technological change arises in large part because of intentional actions taken by people who respond to market incentives...[TJhis does not mean that everyone who contributes to technological change is motivated by market incentives" (p. 288). Marshall and Tucker (1992), in a strong message to nations in their study on work and education, insist: 'The future now belongs to societies that organize themselves for learning. What we know and can do holds the key to economic progress, just as command of natural resources once did..The prize will go to those countries that are organized as national learning systems, and where all institutions are organized to learn and act on what they learn" (p. xiii). Social institutions, such as education, are encouraged to respond. But Bricken (1991) challenges the drive to technological change: "There's no doubt that cyberspace and virtual world technology are empowering; but exactly who is being empowered..The current development of relatively inexpensive systems along with high-end models indicates that the technology will be widely available. Once we are there, who is in control?" (p. 378). Bricken asks: "When cyberspace becomes commonplace in corporations and schools, how will the power 2: 96 of the technology be distributed?...Who decides how cyberspace is used in schools?" (p. 379). Will teaching and schooling become technologically cluttered such that teachers are left to scramble about trying to figure out how to relate to an elite computer culture comprised largely of adolescents? In a familiar tone as Lieberman (1992), who decides? And of equal importance is the question of who controls the controllers. Another critical question in need of raising is how social institutions such as education are to manage the costs of IT and budgets when funding for education is unable to keep up with the demands. Business-education partnerships have been the main response to this dilemma. But as we have also seen earlier, business- education partnerships exist as ad hoc arrangements lacking consistency and success for both partners. The discussion thus far has traced the development of education as related to business through the Industrial Revolution and Taylorist principles, and has established the connection with the economy and workplace. Business-education partnerships, also complex systems, transcend workplaces, offering a common ground with many possible benefits to both partners. On Business-Education Partnerships Business-Education Partnerships: Practices Under the "specific recommendations" set out by the Education Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1994), technology-related means of encouraging and developing lifelong learning skills are stressed,3' as is the 3 1 For example, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is urged to "include 2: 97 establishment of a "'Canadian Association of Partners in Education' in order to facilitate further development and effective use of business-education partnerships across Canada" (p. 8). Business in partnership with education continues to be regarded with a kind of acceptance by some people as the next phase of ensuring educational funding or reform (Close & Martin, 1998), and to others as a challenging, educational menace to be dealt with (Boyles, 1998; Molnar, 1996; Robertson, 1999, 1998). Purposes of business-education partnerships, like calls for education reform, also demonstrate variety and lack of consensus. Forrest, Miller, and Fiehn (1992), whose research is on industry mentors in schools, focus their attention on the practice of industry and education leaders collaborating in management. The purpose of these collaborations is to "work together with one another and talk to each other in a language both understand, [because] there are many issues of a mutual concern on which industry and education can agree and move forward" (p. vii). The kind of partnerships of which the authors speak includes long-term secondments of teachers to industry and industry leaders playing a governing role in education. However, the authors caution that such collaborative efforts by business and education that exist merely on the plain of curricular enrichment, such as classroom visits or on going arms-length business support, "depend far too much on the goodwill or long-term enlightened self-interest of the business sector; at best a vulnerable and not totally reliable commodity" (p. vii). Forrest, Miller and Fiehn do not view short-term visits in the classroom as an effective means of ensuring reform considerable emphasis on technology-based tools to support continued learning" (Chamber of Commerce, p. 7). 2: 98 or strong links between industry and education. Perhaps the key point is in the authors' insight that "education needs better public understanding of its difficulties in satisfying the expectations of a society whose needs become ever more sophisticated" (p. vii). This implied educational relevance and systemic problems converge with similar findings in the literature. As a response the authors note, "industry has the potential for being a major ally of education, arguing its case in places and ways that education could not hope to achieve by itself" (p. viii). Here it is worth noting the self-perception of business, or the perceptions of business that others have, that allow it to be able to mediate for education, as though business has a clearer and better grasp of its needs and purposes. On a comparative international note, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, and other major economic powers that enjoy perhaps greater education success stories, at least according to Marshall and Tucker (1992), have been practicing collaborative arrangements between business and education. Denmark, for example, practices an alternative process with those youth who opt for training rather than university. Marshall and Tucker explain: Through this whole process, each team member must keep a diary recording the problems encountered, the approaches taken to address them, and the progress made in acquiring the skills needed to meet the standards set by the employers. Each trainee meets regularly with his or her teachers, and uses the diary as a basis for discussion with the teacher to evaluate progress. The students are expected to manage their own learning process and constantly to assess their learning. The teachers act like mentors and coaches, but they do not engage in direct instruction. The learning process in this scheme has become a paradigm of the work environment—and learning process—in a high-performance work organization, (p. 205) A number of issues arise from Marshall and Tucker's depiction of Denmark's "success." No doubt there are many beneficial features in that country's—and 2: 99 others'—educational practices. How were these students, though, able to "manage their own learning process and constantly to assess their learning" process? The authors say there was no "direct instruction." How are the students to learn that what they are doing is actually a "paradigm of the work environment"? How efficient and effective is the program? What constitutes an effective partnership? These questions remain unanswered in Marshall and Tucker. The Chamber of Commerce's Focus 2000 [] 990) guide makes recommendations concerning the roles and responsibilities of the key players in a business-education partnership, suggesting a partnership coordinator, a business/industry representative, a business/industry coordinator, a school representative (such as the principal), and a school coordinator (such as a teacher). The guide even provides a model of what such a partnership would look like. The suggestions, however, tend to be broad and general. While such generalities provide for an opening dialogue between partners with education, the guide does not provide directions about how to deal with suspicions, expectations, or the cultural differences and similarities that exist in the two systems. In short it fails to consider the systemic complexity involved in partnerships. While there are seemingly many benefits to be shared in education partnerships (Bodinger-deUriarte, Fleming-McCormick, Schwager, Clark & Danzberger, 1996; Close & Martin, 1998; Doyle & Pimental, 1997; Morley, 2000), a number of issues associated with them in the past remain problematic. Marsha Levine, American Federation of Teachers, for example, suggests that the key issues regarding educational reform—"restructuring, accountability, choice and distribution 2: 100 of resources—is complex, and the involvement of the business community adds a new level of complexity" (in Berman, 1987, p. 29). One reason for changes in business-education partnerships over the past 40 years is offered by IBM CEO, Louis V. Gerstner Jr. who claims, "business was not given enough control over school practices in return for the enormous amount of money it was contributing" (cited in Molnar, 1996, p. 9). This "enormous amount of money" (no figures were offered) has been questioned elsewhere in the context of corporate profits and government tax-breaks offered to corporations for education donations (Marshall & Tucker, 1992; Molnar, 1996; Robertson, 1998). Townley (1989), in a Conference Board report, cites a number of business-education partnerships where financial assistance is tied to specific conditions. Townley says: "Some programs...are being re-evaluated and demanding something more: that in return for generous aid and the promise of jobs, schools get their test scores up and their dropout rates down" (p. 4). Lund (1989) found that "most business/education partnerships, while well-intentioned, are localized, isolated and fragmented" (p. 3), and that business expressed "general dissatisfaction with the results of these relationships, in such terms as 'episodic,' 'fractionated,' or 'a short fix'" (p. xiii). Townley (1989) reports that business-education partnerships are already in their "third wave." That is, the history of partnering as a joint agreement between education and business began as "adopt a school program" in the 1960s and moved on to the "second wave" wherein greater accountability was demanded of educators by partnering or sponsoring businesses in the 1970s. This second wave, featuring more "company-sponsored programs, most of them designed to generate high visibility for individual corporations" (p. 5), saw business questioning the activities 2: 101 and results of their efforts from the first wave. Positive results of partnering were seen by Forrest, Miller and Fiehn (1992) who state in their study of educational short-term involvement in industry: [Business] links with teachers, in particular, afford opportunities to break down stereotypes and perceived anti-industrial values. The same arguments can be made for community involvement which can enhance the company's reputation in the locality in ways which are often difficult to quantify. The publicity arising from reports in the local press about particular companies' involvement with schools can improve public image and raise consumer awareness, (p. 8; italics in original) Writing about business ventures in education, Molnar (1996) states that business- education partnerships have "increased dramatically." He reports, "in 1984 [in the United States], such partnerships existed in only 17 percent of the nation's schools... [and that by 1990 these had increased to] 51 percent of America's school districts" (p. 2). 3 2 Stern, Stone, Hopkins, McMillion and Crain (1994) provide a number of examples of a type of partnership referred to as "school-based enterprise" in which schools actually perform real-time service in the community for compensation, such as building projects or working in a specialty restaurant (pp. 33-35, 94-95). Business- education partnerships continue to run the gamut of arrangements, from " 1 s t wave" to " 3 r d wave" types. The development of business-education partnerships over the past 40 years, along with the available critique of them, seem to have had little impact on what to do or how best to proceed in partnering together. A number of online resources provide suggestions and models as guides to the perplexed in business-education partnerships, but these tend to be examples of 3 2 What is missing here is the discussion of what entails a "partnership" for Molnar. Also, note the change from percentage of "schools" to percentage of "districts." In essence this is a book about the corporate impetus of Whittle's "Channel One" project, an attempt to bring corporate advertising into schools via free television sets in classrooms. 2: 102 linear thinking and often only focus on one systemic element or factor as if the answer. 3 3 Such an example is the United States Department of Education website (1996) that touts: "A Four-Stage Plan for Action to Begin an Active Business- Education Partnership." The substance of this part of the site centers on partnership goals and claims that through the four "stages" of vision, leadership, measurable indicators and continuous improvement, "partnerships can have lasting effects on student achievement and—ultimately—business success" ( four.htm). But the website authors do not delve into either concrete examples of lasting effects or how they justify such desires. Business success is easier to understand: increase profits, market share and company profile. The guidelines do not assist business or education to understand some of the systemic factors and problems associated with partnering. The "third wave," from the 1980s and into the 1990s (and continuing into the new millennium), refers to the period of conscious change by businesses to being more selective in their partnering with schools. According to Townley (1989), the third wave arose as a result of business' dissatisfaction with business-education partnerships. 3 4 Business began to define partnerships in terms of corporate policy and strategy, and active involvement in school curricula "that have a direct impact on current and future jobs" (p. 5). According to Townley business began to ask: "Why is progress so slow? Are we [businesses] really making a difference [in education]?" Townley concludes that, "adopting schools and buying uniforms for school bands 3 3 There is a prolific number of online resources on business-education partnerships. 3 4 These reported events took place in North America. 2: 103 and basketball teams made some local people happy; but business leaders began to realize that this had little to do with true education reform" (p. 5). Business-Education Partnerships and Educational Reform In her critical work about business and education in partnership Robertson (1998) comments that, "people who are determined to change the world are drawn inevitably towards school. Some of them want schools to foster the growth of human potential, and others are looking for greater work force productivity" (p. 8). The relationship of business-education partnerships and educational reform has already been broached in previous sections. This is not to suggest that partnerships only exist to help achieve reform. A Chamber of Commerce report (1990), speaking of the implications of "a technologically-oriented global economy," suggests, "partnerships are one way to achieve [a] sense of community" (p. 19). Some researchers also claim that there is a political interest in educational change. Lowe (1997), in his research on schooling, notes that with economic change comes an education system that "appear[sj outmoded and dysfunctional" and that influences a "political agenda" (p. 44). Fearing that education is no longer meeting the needs of the industrial state gives rise to alarmist reactions and calls for educational reform. Young and Gauss (1994) exhort business to "work with educators on a cooperative basis...[and] become full partners in the preparation of the workforce" (p. 12). Not all business "expertise," however, is appropriate for education. As an example, Marshall and Tucker (1992) report that in a large New York State school district, "loaned" personnel from the Xerox corporation applied their business principles in the school district in an attempt to restructure the school (p. 115). Al though the principles were highly effective in Xerox and other corporations, the 2: 104 changes that were expected in the school system were frustrated in the end. Two key factors apparently were not part of the corporate culture. The particular school district in question was viewed as a "political fishbowl" and the educators believed they had nothing to lose if any of the suggested innovations or reforms failed; their jobs were still safe (p. 118). What might work in some business settings proves not to be readily adaptable to the system of education. Educational relevance is a problem, but it is part of a number of factors whose solution demands a systemic response. Arguing the positive effects of business-education partnerships and social cost, Marsha Levine (1987), speaking on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers, states that, "the Committee for Economic Development reports that return on investment in the education of young children at risk is as high as four to one—in terms of money not spent later on remedial education, unemployment, welfare, health care, and crime prevention" (p. 29). The thrust of Levine's comments, similar to arguments of the OECD (1997) or Carnoy (1997) and other researchers, is that there are far greater societal benefits when business becomes involved in education. Economically, it could be argued that business—and society—would be socially remiss if they did not move on the project of educational reform. Price (1992), in his work on industry-education arrangements that al low for educators to gain first-hand experience in other workplaces, writes: "The gap that exists between the education system and the world of work needs to be bridged for the sake of both the youngsters and prospective employers..." (p. 30). Berman (1987) maintains in a Conference Board Report on the necessity of educational change that, "meaningful reform, many insist, must consider the changing requirements of the., job market" (p. 1). Furthermore Berman claims business-education partnerships 2: 105 are a means of achieving educational reform through which "the business community...should explain more thoroughly what kinds of skills its work force will need; should provide guidance and expertise on management and appraisal of the school system; and should involve top management in the planning process" (p. 1). Marshall and Tucker (1992) agree and insist: Much more than business involvement in setting school-leaving standards would be [examining needs]. Many firms would have to help build the science and math curriculum; set technical standards for apprenticeship programs; offer opportunities for on-the-job training; provide mentors, job opportunities, and personal support to disadvantaged students; and offer real rewards to students who work hard in school, (p. 121) Examples of business and education collaborating to attend to some of the problems of educational relevance is the Calgary [Alberta, Canada] Educational Partnership Foundation (CEPF; 1999-2000), an independent, non-profit organization, and the Alberta Science Foundation (ASF). The CEPF acknowledges: "Business realizes the current constraints on education; education recognizes the workplace applications of the curriculum and the importance of life-long learning to train and re-train for today's ever-changing business environment" ( Similarly, the ASF (Spectrum, 1995), "a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1990," advertises on the Web: "Partnerships...can take many forms...[that could] encourage understanding and awareness in different also encourages Albertans to pursue careers in science and technology, and raises the overall level of understanding of science" ( The strategic plans on the site indicate activities that are material resource provisions to supplement school curricula. What is not clear is how those materials were developed, by whom, or the 2: 106 longterm benefits of partnering, in this case a partnership is sought with a focus to improve a particular curricular area: science. But how are educators to respond to this activity of the ASF? On the one hand it would appear that the ASF is providing a supplementary service to education. On the other hand the implication is that education is not performing the task of informing students adequately about science and technology relevant to industry. In essence, the ASF site itself can be seen as a practical step to educational reform. Jones and Maloy (1988) speak directly to the problem of business approaching schools for partnering and issues of educational reform. They contend that, "school improvements depend on a realistic and shared sense of educational purposes by teachers, school administrators, members of outside organizations, policy-makers, and voters" (p. xiii). A critical point that they make ties in with earlier the discussion of the purposes of education. Jones and Maloy suggest, "school partnerships may exacerbate persistent tensions and political pressures around the purposes of schooling" (p. 7). They explain, "when outside partners urge...[changes in student outcomes] or rapid dissemination of technological breakthroughs, they raise issues of competing values and means" (p. 8). Over time, "competing values and means" along with divergent perceptions of purposes and other systemic factors, are bound to have a negative impact on business-education partnerships and on determining the best approach to partnering. Gayton (1989) notes in a Conference Board report that business focuses on K- 12 education because it believes academics and the skills needed to make a better life are "directly related to the economic well-being of the state" (p. 17). As an aid to skills development, the same authors generalize that some businesses actually 2: 107 "encourage [employees] to become more involved in their local schools" (p. 17). Other examples of collaborative partnerships found in the Conference Board (1989) report of education partnerships include employees becoming more directly involved in their local schools, corporations becoming involved in the development and delivery of curricula, and even executives instructing students in the summer and on weekends to help them to prepare for local and state tests. Ultimately the calls for reform and requests for partnering will have to confront two problems. The first is the problem of purposes of education and the second is mapping and understanding the systemic factors of business and education in partnership. Benefits and Problems of Business-Education Partnerships I have shown the general development and practices of business-education partnerships over the past 40 years. What constitutes "success" in these partnerships is evidently as varied as the partners. In a study of industry mentors with schools in Britain, Price (1992) observes: The most effective means of communicating [information about the world...and the] way to achieve greater awareness among the potential work force and the community at large...was not through presentations to students...however charismatic the presenters might be, but through a progression of experiences designed to bring an industrial dimension to the 5- 19 curriculum as a natural element of children's learning, (p. 30) In other words, the brief appearance of a "representative" from industry in the business education or law 12 classes is limited to an infomercial session by business— and perhaps all too often the mainstay Human Support type of partnership—but it does not actually benefit the student as much as one would like to believe. What have lasting positive effects, or enhanced student learning, are sustained relevant 2: 108 experiences through education and the world of work as a collaborating, unified force in the students' lives. Manders (1987) theorizes there are key "elements in common" in successful education partnerships: Reason:The reason for each partner's involvement must be sincere and realistic, or the superficiality will become apparent and the partnership will degenerate into "take what you can get." Attitude:An attitude of cooperation and mutual respect must underlie the partnership, and business must avoid the condescending role of an "expert" coming to correct inadequacies with limited involvement. PersonThe selection of the individuals involved must be based on their sincere commitment to the partnership effort as well as their qualifications and ability to get the job done. Period: Meaningful programs require commitment and continuity over a long period if students and teachers are to place any faith in them. Organization: Following up on the logical steps in any project—from researching to budgeting, planning, launching, and guiding the project—is . crucial to the success of the program. It helps ensure that the partners' goals are not in conflict. Relationship:The partners must be equals, so that each will feel that he or she is contributing and that the attributes of each will be recognized and used. Teacherinput:Teacher input and support is essential to the formulation of programs designed for the classroom, (in Berman, p. 34) Mander's list is important but what ensures the equitable development and implementation of the elements in this list? And perhaps more importantly, where are the broader systemic considerations and discussion of educational purposes? But relationships between business and education are tenuous arrangements partly because of the cultural differences that each exhibits. In their work on the cultural development of education, Pai and Adler (1997) explain: [Culture is] most commonly viewed as that pattern of knowledge, skills, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs, as well as material artifacts, produced by a 2: 109 human society and transmitted from one generation to another. Culture is the whole of humanity's intellectual, social, technological, political, economic, moral, religious, and aesthetic accomplishments... [that] should be seen as an integrated set of norms or standards by which human behaviors, beliefs, and thinking are organized, (p. 23-24) "Culture" is essentially a particular narrative or mythos that unites individuals by adopted assumptions and practices (see Appendix 6 for a more in-depth discussion of culture). In a report on ITM, I quoted Dawn (B) who mentioned that, "cultural differences exist [in schools]. Schools don't understand how business operates. Contracts and deadlines, for example, must be honored...[Educators] don't like it when we come on like business" (Despres, 1996a). Pai and Adler remind us that, "though we cannot know all the details of either our own or another people's cultural map, an understanding of the general terrains of the group's culture would help us to be more effective in relating to others and achieving our own purposes" (p. 26). There are differences in core mission, culture, structure and environment between schools and outside workplaces. Because there are differing views on and perceptions of education purposes and community involvement, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise. Pai and Adler (1997) state, "education as an acculturation process can also be viewed as the modification of one culture through the continuous contact with another. Antagonism often results when one culture is dominant, and this antagonism becomes exacerbated by the dominant culture's attempt to speed up the process" (p. 43). Pai and Adler emphasize only a few of the many systemic factors and elements, or "terrains," that comprise systems, or in this case the systems of business and education. The systemic factors of education and business are in need of such understanding in light of the developments of business-education 2:110 partnerships and their potential increase in response to limited public funding of education. Theoretically the realized benefits of business-education partnerships to education are material/financial resources, collaborations and "enhanced student learning" (Conference Board of Canada, 1997; also Calvert, 1993: Cornell, 1996; Zimmerman & Mclntire, 1996). However, Robertson (1998), sharing some concerns about purposes of partnerships, surmises: Cutting funding drastically is the quickest way to ensure that schools do less with less. Standardized tests, reported school by school, will document this decline and stimulate demand for alternatives. Taking away the local government's right to compensate for lost funding by levying school taxes ensures that all schools will decline, except those in affluent communities championed by persistent fund-raisers. Schools starved for resources will naturally court private-sector partners, whose demands that students learn employability skills must be respected, (p. 45) On a basic level the potential benefits to schools include the acquaintance with new skills and workplace knowledge from a first-hand source, increased resources, and funding for projects and relevancy. For business partnership benefits range from positive PR in the community, to tax benefits, to professional development of business and increased profit. Business-education partnerships, however, are plagued with a number of issues, some of which I have already mentioned. Some writers fear there may be an encroachment of "academic freedom" through business-education partnerships (Ekelund, 1993; also Duncan, 1992). Outsiders, in light of A. Hargreaves' (1993) description, may offer greater benefits but at a possible cost of disrupting the norm, the status quo of schooling or the cultural routine. Perhaps they might even pose a 2: 111 threat to teacher identity and practice. Levine (1987) says: "Educators, who had already lost support as a result of declines in the public school population, saw the business community as a potentially powerful ally—but one whose involvement might result in distorted goals or 'vocalization.' Education for the common good might lose out to education for personal or corporate gain" (cited by Berman, 1987, p. 26). In one business-education partnership, Friedberg (1989) notes how one attempt by partnering business persons to be directly involved in helping with remedial math and English drew a negative response from teachers with whom the team had been working throughout the course of the academic year. The teachers "did not want any volunteers. Some of the teachers are still very protective of their classrooms; they see them as their turf" (p. 30). A long with this educator identity and uncertainty of educational purposes are differences between, and expectations of, business-education partnerships. Forssman's (1999) following comment helps to shed some light on some of these systemic differences and expectations: The new wave of computer technology that was being implemented in the lab in my neighbourhood school seemed very vulnerable, lacking any systems architecture or apparent support mechanisms or training for the teachers, let alone imaginative, collaborative, knowledge-building applications. A n active dialogue about skills development needed to be undertaken, because even as the schools upgraded their technology, the question of what and how they were teaching seemed to beg for participation from those of us that lived and worked in the business world. Why, in 1993, when the Internet was settling into the office and women into the boardroom, were the computer science classes primarily boys-only, while the "data processing" classes were filled with girls seeking secret Times New Roman success in a '60's-style typing class, learning keyboarding skills of 351 am merely raising the question in light of the findings by Contenta (1993). Cuban (1984), and Hargreaves (1993), for example. 2: 1 12 Microsoft Word, but risking the same pink-collared demise as Smith-Corona? Meanwhile, the telecommunications networks that we were implementing for corporate clients at Systemhouse had great potential as collaborative learning environments. At this stage, neither the school community nor business interests had even begun to quantify how we might multiplex more than just the computers, bringing together the social value of connecting corporate return-on-investment with educational return-on-literacy through learning networks. All of these educational gaps were juxtaposed by an equal blind spot on the part of my high technology industry. This engine of economic growth with its growing labor shortages, had yet to articulate what it wanted from the schools, and what it could offer back to public education in terms of both technology and curriculum. (Forssman in Forssman & Willinsky, 1999) The differences in expectations are understandable in the context of cultural nuances and the assumed purposes of education. It is Forssman's last statement that draws a connection between education and business that points to the potential benefits of business-education partnerships. According to Forssman and Willinsky (1999), "business, when it is drawn into working with education in development partnerships (as opposed to vendor- customer relationships), needs to understand that differences in culture are underwritten by differences in economy, in principles and practices." Suspicions remain in education as it questions business' motives when they offer assistance. Robertson (1998) quotes: "Investing in education is investing in the future of business" (cited p. 6). But the flip side of this, as reported by one author in a Conference Board report, is the reality of business' suspicion of education, in this case whether or not "the schools would live up to their side of the bargain" (Ashwell & Caropreso, 1989, p. 38; also Forssman & Willinsky, 1999). In another case, in a conference presentation Suzanne Gagnon (1998), Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Glaxo-Wellcome Inc., argues that businesses in business-education partnerships face challenges such as "mistrust of 'Big Business,' differences in culture, values, language, 2: 113 fear of losing control, unclear/unrealistic expectations, resource issues, and communication issues" ( The reaction of unions and their workers is another potential problem in partnerships. In an evaluation report of ITM, some union officials were concerned about non-union people—in this case students—completing tasks normally done by union members. The issue was resolved "with an agreement" (Despres, 1996a) and in the end no students challenged union jobs. If teachers unions feel somehow threatened by business-education partnerships where students and/or business participants might involve a "union" job, then what is a mutually beneficial manner of rectifying the problem? This thesis approaches that question by starting with the basic perceptions of the participants as something to be shared and worked with. Benevides commenting in a Boston Business Journal'(1997) informs us that not all works in business-education partnerships as well as some businesses would perhaps like or expect, despite past claims of education amelioration. Benevides cites Roger Porter, director of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, as stating: "Many of the most innovative things that are being done [in education] are being done by private entities." Benevides notes: The education industry can be divided into three areas ripe for for-profit forays: schools, estimated to be worth $ 16 billion in revenue a year; educational services, which brought in $ 15.3 billion last year; and the largest segment, educational products, which generated revenue of $21.2 billion last year, according to Ed uVentures... Nation wide, recent attempts by for-profits to run public schools have suffered highly publicized setbacks. Minneapolis- based Education Alternatives Inc. lost its contract to run all the schools in Hartford and several schools in Baltimore, and the New York-based Edison Project, run by Christopher Whittle, has been recast on a more modest scale. (Boston Business Journa/j 2: 114 The thrust of Benevides' point is that the driving force for some partnering, which I mentioned earlier, is the potential market it opens up to business. One case example of business capitalizing on the education market involves a cold beverage supplier. I was able to obtain a memo from Bellevue School District- one of the school districts in this dissertation—on the subject of its partnership arrangement with Guzzle Beverages where it turns out that the arrangement, or "sponsorship" as the special committee called it, was aimed at receiving additional funds in return for an exclusive contract. Regarding this exclusive contract territory a local school district trustee enticed his audience in a local newspaper to consider calls for more business-education partnering including "an exclusive arrangement with a cold beverage supplier" which would "provide additional funds at the school level where they serve the students' best interests" [RichmondNews, 1998). But there was no indication how the money would "serve the students' best interests." As an exclusive arrangement with the cold beverage supplier the sponsorship made no claims or efforts towards enhancing student learning. It appears this partnership was merely a means of adding to education funding. Also, given the questionable health value of the arrangement, the committee's silence on the question of ethical practices and corresponding responsibility for students demonstrates a possible dilemma in education. In another example, a different school district in which I worked entered into a sponsorship arrangement to have its telecommunications needs serviced exclusively through a single telecommunications conglomerate in exchange for a financial commitment by the company to the tune of one million dollars over a 10-year period. The agreement, labeled in a local newspaper and by the company as a partnership, 2: 115 challenges some of the qualities of what is intended for business-education partnerships. For example, consider the company's (Bell West Inc.) news announcement on their website: Randy Reynolds, President and CEO of Bell West Inc. noted that the new agreement is a positive one for both parties. "Bell is delighted to have entered into this partnership, which will support both learning and the arts in Surrey," said Mr. Reynolds. "This initiative is an extension of Bell's national support of the arts and cultural sector across Canada and a way for us to make a real and lasting contribution to the community at large and to youth in particular. ....School Board...Chair Mary Polak noted that the contribution made by Bell has enabled the District to realize a long-standing goal. "To have a successful, highly-visible Canadian company like Bell behind the Centre is a tremendous boost to the development of arts and culture in our region," said Ms. Polak. "The District, like the Bell Canada group of companies, is committed to bringing the people of our community together though innovative projects. It is through the good corporate citizenship of sponsors like Bell that our dream for a professional theatre has become a reality" (2002: 20020418.asp. and; emphasis added) The working definition of a partnership that I established at the beginning of this dissertation emphasizes the enhancement of student learning. In this case the enhancement of student learning has to be questioned. There are no indicated curricular support programs or how this sponsorship would aid students in their learning. One has to wonder if educational stakeholders are ready to compromise on ethical matters in order to receive money then is there a point to trying to halt business-education partnerships or severely question business' motives for partnering with education? Boundaries of Business-Education Partnerships No one goes further in capturing the assumed clash of systems when business goes to school than Boyles (1998). He emphasizes that his efforts are not "for an 2: 116 overthrow of capitalism. [I am] arguing, instead, that the worst vestiges of capitalism, including most prominently consumer materialism, are being foisted upon teachers and students, through their schools (via a kind of befuddled acquiescence), at the expense of critical transitivity" (p. 5). 3 6 Here is the main dilemma of business- education partnerships, it would appear. Boyles, and likewise other critics of business- education partnerships such as Molnar (1996) or Robertson (1998, 1999), is concerned about the raw capitalist agenda of some businesses, in particular "consumer materialism," that drives those businesses to view education as a ready market ripe for exploitation, and all the while under the guise of partnerships. What is more, those businesses are able to pursue their course because of education's desperation for additional resources and stakeholders' ignorance of the systemic problems associated with business-education partnerships. In education young people are a captive audience. Perceived as profit- mongers, for example by some educators that I interviewed, business is castigated— rightly or wrongly—in a shroud of self-interest. Interest groups have listed ethical guidelines as one means of ensuring that students are not harmed in any way by business involvement in education (see M. R. Bloom, 1995; Canadian Teachers Federation, 1997, 2000; Ekelund, 1993). In its efforts to heighten the awareness of proper conduct in education partnerships, the Conference Board of Canada (M. R. Bloom, 1997) offers "Operating Principles for Business-Education Partnerships" along with "Ethical Guidelines for Business-Education Partnerships." What interests me about that is the implication that education deserves a special consideration of 3 6 By "critical transivity" he means that the interplay of student-teacher discussions is compromised. 2: 117 conduct, recognition perhaps that education is a near sacrosanct institution insofar as possible business exploitation is concerned (also Raelin, 1985; Stern, Stone, Hopkins, McMillion & Crain, 1994). Molnar (1996), in his study of business involvement in schools, questions business' ethical responsibility to the community, wondering, for example, about the propriety of McDonald's involvement in a fire-prevention campaign where coupons for burgers were given out to children. He asks, "why try to save children from burning to death by encouraging them to eat a product filled with saturated fat that the school's own nutrition curriculum would tell them to avoid" (p. 26)? Harty (1979) cites numerous examples of corporations bending, or blatantly ignoring, ethical Tightness with education. Business-education partnerships continue to exist in the form of door-to-door sales of chocolate bars, savings coupon books, candles or spices, for example. A n ethical question that is not examined in the literature regarding these partnerships concerns the line between child labor and enlisting (insisting on?) children's participation in education, or school, fund raising to supplement funding for band, travel or sports. Resistance to Business-Education Partnerships Formal education is an exclusive domain whose restrictions are delineated by conferred credentials (university degrees) predetermined by an external organization or bureaucracy (teachers college or department of education, local union). The functional jurisdiction of the teacher is a classroom, which is off limits to outsiders (D. Hargreaves, 1995; Hodas, 1996). That makes for conflict when community members (e.g., business) attempt to become more involved in the educational process, whether in assisting educators in the routine of teaching and managing young 2:118 people or collaborating on curricular components. Although this information complements our knowledge of the culture of education, it does not help to explain why educators resist outsiders' input in education. In a national survey reported by Manders (1987), teachers' perceptions of business include suspicion that business acts with only superficial interest in the needs of education, seeking to "improve corporate public relations or image" and is "condescending" toward education sometimes (p. 32). Teachers in this survey also wondered about business-education partnerships, specifically about the purposes of partnering with business, although "teachers with experience in partnerships with business reported positive results" (p. 32). The implication is that educators who have experience with partnerships are less likely to be resistant to them. No distinction was made about the type of business or the type of partnership. In addition to the suspicions about partnership purposes, Marshall and Tucker (1992) note: "Educators are deeply skeptical of the idea that education has anything of value to learn from business," due in part to the seemingly incommensurability of business concepts such as "product," "customers" or "quality" (p. 118). Questions of purpose and the seeming divergence of terms used are key reasons suggested for educators' resistance. Contenta (1993) mentions other factors regarding change and resistance in education: Our natural tendency to retreat in the face of change is reinforced by a nostalgia for a simpler time and a refusal to look beyond the mythologies that blind us. As our fear of change grows, we pressure schools to preserve a culture that's busy charting its own ruin. The economy becomes the main concern, not only because profits keep business happy and re-elect governments, but also because the economy has for centuries served as the litmus test for quality of life. And so, in looking forward and falling back, we bombard schools with mixed messages while beefing up the hidden 2: 119 curriculum. In the end, the status quo and its blinding mythology of economic progress are reinforced, (p. 191) Hodas (1996) associates the problem of this resistance with the institution and culture of education, as do Howley and Howley (1995). 3 7 Other researchers on teachers and education have reached similar conclusions (Mclntyre & O'Hair, 1996; Simmons & Pitman, 1994). Cuban (1984), a researcher in educational change at Stanford University, found that teachers tend to continue their age-worn practices because the "occupational ethos of teaching...breeds conservatism and resistance to change in institutional practice. This conservatism, i.e., preference for stability and caution toward change, is rooted in the people recruited into the profession, how they are informally socialized, and the school culture of which teaching itself is a primary ingredient" (p. 243). And as Robertson (1998) stated in her denigration of consultant- would-be-pundits of educational change: "Their weary audiences [teachers] return to their classrooms the next day, where things remain pretty much the same" (p. 31; see also p. 128). To alter performance requires some reflecting and questioning, whether individually practiced (Grimmett, 1988; Louden, 1991; Osguthorpe, Harris, Harris, & Black, 1995; Robinson, 1994; Schon, 1983; Zehm & Kottler, 1995), or as part of a collaborative development (Cleft, Veal, Holland, Johnson and McCarthy, 1995; McLean, 1991). It would appear by and large that the culture of education is not one 3 7 Howley and Howley (1995) draw upon other sources to conclude that teachers who stay in the job actually stagnate intellectually compared to their peers in other jobs and professions. Lack of education about issues may very well play a part in the attitude of resistance and possible malaise towards outsiders. 2: 120 that necessarily fosters reflection or alteration (Cuban, 1984; Despres, 1999, 1994; Gibbons, 1990; Lowe, 1997). Contenta (1993) suggests that educators actually thwart reform attempts, citing an example drawn from a situation in Ontario, Canada, in the late 1980s. The Ontario Ministry of Education wanted to implement a curriculum of subject integration. Contenta notes: "High school teachers protective of their subject areas fought hard against the idea, and by 1993 it seemed the government was ready to back down and keep the artificial disciplines" (p. 190). He contends: No schooling reform would be complete without a built-in contradiction...[The Ministry of Education] began to produce a set of standards that students must meet at various grade levels. Some educators fear that teachers will be forced to spoon-feed content to meet those standards. Once a standard is set, tests are needed to evaluate whether students have reached them. The more you test, the easier it becomes to sort, and the hidden curriculum loves to sort. (p. 190) The preceding points help to clarify educational resistance. Of little help to educators, however, are calls to deliberately resist corporations because they are corporations or because they have amassed presence. For example, Robertson (1998) quotes Theodore Roszak as urging everyone to "find out what Bill Gates wants your school to do. Don't do that" (p. 196), as if other corporations or individuals are better predisposed to the interests of education and as if educators understand well the reasons for doing so. Resistance is also understandable, though not justified, by virtue of the systemic structure of education (Cuban, 1984; Gibbons, 1991, 1990, 1976; D. Hargreaves, 1995; Hodas, 1996; Welker, 1992). According to Lowe (1997), who wrote about schooling and change, the erosion of teacher confidence and the growth of teachers on the defensive have resulted from the removal of teachers from curriculum control. 2: 121 Conclusion This chapter set out to examine the literature on business, education and business-education partnerships in order to provide one backdrop for analyzing educators' and businesspersons' perceptions of business-education partnerships. This review, drawn as it is along systemic lines, enables a more complete view of what is entailed in business and education partnering together. The rise of business- education partnerships that extend beyond the level of material resources is becoming increasingly visible as public funding of education is reduced still further and in the face of open challenges to the community and education (Price, 1992). But it remains unfortunate if these partnerships develop merely out of economic necessity or acquiescence out of economic desperation rather than from mutual and educated decision making about what is ultimately best for the learner. That said, it is not surprising when partnerships develop as a function of economics. With this in mind the value of business-education partnerships is potentially a matter of contestation. Ultimately the purposes of education are not a uniform or universal set of guiding principles that could direct educators or business in their dealing with education. On the other hand, if educators fear "distorted goals" for "corporate gain," perhaps this is the dawning of a new set of educational purposes to which educators will need to become accustomed. What does society want from education? Will business determine the new educational purposes by default? The hidden curriculum, the formal structure of schooling, the architectural environment of educational institutions, and the Tayloristic management structure all play a part in the acculturation of youth into Western society (Contenta, 1993; 2: 122 Eggleston, 1992; Gibbons, 1990; Macmillan, 1998; Marshall & Tucker, 1992). The many purposes of education include preparing students for eventual inclusion in the workforce, or as a contributing member of society, developing lifelong learning skills, and even learning for its own sake (Schweitzer, Crocker & Gilliss, 1995). Despite an array of viewpoints on business-education partnerships, there is no consensus of opinion on what the purpose of these partnerships should be or how one could gauge success. What is problematic with the Conference Board's (M. R. Bloom, 1997) partnership definition as "enhanced student learning" is its vagueness. What constitutes "enhanced"? If an outdated computer is replaced with a more current one, does that equate with "enhanced student learning"? If Guzzle Beverages offers X dollars to a local school district's coffers for their discretion, should there be an ethics review to ensure proper motives by the participants for partnering? Do increased test scores mean enhanced student learning and correlate to business-education partnerships? The absence of concrete steps to ensure meaningful learning enhancements is a systemic problem that is not solved either by tighter business or government controls on education, or by ethical guidelines of partnerships. Principles, guiding questions, and ethical guidelines, such as those established by the Conference Board of Canada, Toronto School Board, or the Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick, UK, 3 8 may help partnerships to become established or even to flourish for a time, and certainly provide educators and business persons with an alpha point for beginning to contemplate partnering. 3 8 Each of these organizations offers online information to stakeholders who are contemplating or involved in a partnership. The Conference Board's website has several documents available regarding ethical and practical principles of partnering, for example. 2: 123 Missing is any mention of, let alone a guide to, a systemic understanding of education and business. The range of articulated and perceived educational purposes varies among and between business and education stakeholders making the dialogue on partnerships very difficult. On top of this are other systemic factors that render the discussion of educational reform and business-education partnerships a complex melee. One conclusion we can draw from the information in this chapter up to this point is that business-education partnerships are complex both because partnerships are comprised of the systems of business and education, and because of the variety of types of arrangements possible between the two systems, which I discussed in Chapter One. A d d to this the perceptions of the participants and stakeholders of business-education partnerships along with expectations put on these partnerships and that complexity is compounded. Business-education partnerships suffer many problems and demand a more comprehensive approach to analyzing these problems and the perceptions of the people involved and affected by them. Systemic thinking is such a comprehensive means of understanding the complexity of business-education partnerships and their problems. In my analysis of the data, and as I briefly explained earlier in this dissertation, systemic thinking is the practice of viewing events or organizations (any thing] as interconnected to other events or organizations. Broadening our perspective on a system, such as business-education partnerships, allows for more significant factors to be considered. The interconnectedness of factors and their interplay provides an array of possibilities of questions, problems, solutions and directions not as readily available (if at all) by other means. This application of 2: 124 systemic thinking to the study of perceptions of business-education partnerships ensures a systemic response to a complex organization. The categories presented in this chapter represent a cross section of many of the key systemic factors in the discussion of business-education partnerships. The significance of presenting a review of the literature in these categories is to show the divergence of opinions about education and about business-education partnerships. What is evident from the literature is the lack of consensus on the problems in education and partnerships, and perhaps more importantly the perceptions of business and education in partnership. In fact it seems that no one has a solid grip on the problems in education or in partnerships. A partnership arrangement between business and education, or between groups of any systems, is more than an agreement to collaborate on something in exchange for funding for education, just as the problems with business-education partnerships are more than exercises of "crass commercialism" (Boyles, 1998). As I have been pointing out throughout this chapter business-education partnerships are highly complex systems demanding a protocol that better appreciates this complexity and that is able to achieve a successful decision leading to a successful partnership or its cessation. Business-education partnerships will continue past different "waves" (Ashwell & Caropreso, 1989), some in the first or second and others in the third, fourth or fifth, because the breakdowns and problems in partnering point to a failure to accommodate the significance of the systemic factors in partnerships, an important one of which is the role of the participants' perceptions in initiating partnerships and that are carried into partnerships with them. A critical factor in this protocol for partnering is to better 2: 125 understand the participants' and stakeholders' perceptions of business-education partnerships, because these perceptions and attitudes have been assumed or ignored rather than assessed and analyzed. These perceptions form a potential starting point for an educational exchange among participants. In the remaining chapters I analyze the perceptions of business, educators and students in order both to map the thinking in the fields of business and education, and to develop a more informed and systemic approach to business-education partnerships. 2: 126 CHAPTER 3 PARTICIPANTS' PERCEPTIONS OF BUSINESS For those of us who deal with these changes daily [in technology and commerce], the pace is simply dizzying. (Clendenin, 1989, p. 7) Two value systems arose and persist—the ethos of success and the ethos of conviction. The aims and objectives of business capitalism—size, power, profit, market share and wealth—are driven by the ethos of success. All the "virtues" of this world— neighborliness, familiarity, faith, hope, justice, charity, fortitude—are vested in the ethos of conviction. Its weakness is that none of these makes money. (Alexander, 1997, p. 71) From the quotations above there are radical differences between business and education. In this short chapter I examine how the interviewees perceive the nature or culture of business based on the participants' responses to the third set of questions in the Interview Schedule, "understandings of the culture of business" (see Appendix 2). Many of the participants' reflections on the workplace are also suited to this chapter, but for the sake of organization and clarity I will discuss them in Chapter Five. I have divided up the three groups of interviewees in order to analyze their responses to the interview questions. As with the remaining chapters dealing with the data and analysis, sections vary in length. These differences have to do with the data and do not imply particular importance of topics. Thus, shorter sections are such because either the data has many similar responses or there is little to report. The thematic headings that I found helpful in organizing the data and analyses are business nature and business expectations. I have grouped the final analysis of the participants' responses under the appropriate systemic cluster headings as a means of further clarifying meanings and the relationships between the data and the literature. The interview questions were: 3: 127 1) What is the nature of business in your understanding? In other words, what are your perceptions about business? 2) How do you substantiate your understanding or perceptions? 3) What metaphor would you use to describe business? 4) Is there consistency, or alignment, between school and the business culture, or is there tension? Where does the consistency or tension lie? Recall from Chapter One the list of participants were as follows (see Table 1 in Chapter One for details): Participant Represents: Don, Corporate Administration (Larson-Simpson Technologies) Business cSre^ (SkyHigh Airlines) Business Mike (SkyHigh Airlines) Business VeYV(Makschif t Engineering) Business Dawn (Knowledge Architecture) Business Kevin (Mason Good) Business Chantai'(Gulliver's Travel) Business Karen (SportShoe Canada Ltd.) Business Bob (Learning,Society) Business Bill • - Superintendent Aaron •. - Leadership and management in the school Al - IT instruction, ITM, leadership in the department Colin - Research and direction Robin - Teaches business education. Career and Personal Planning, liaise with businesses in community Kris - Teaches ESL, photography Ralph - Teaches IT, school administration Blair - Teaches avionics, shop, liaise with SkyHigh Airlines Leslie - Teaches IT Carrie - Teaches home economics, hospitality, liaise with Chantal of Gulliver's Travel Eunice - Teacher Teaches social studies Matt - Teaches sciences Ferdinand - Teaches IT 3: 128 Otto - University researcher and teacher-on-call Dave - Student Huang - Student Frank - Student Steve - Student Jason - Student Henry - Student Gordie ~'-?' "•" - Student Nicol - Student Karl - Student Annika - Student RJ - Student Raj - Student 12 students - Student The Nature of Business Business and commerce have held a significant place in cultures even longer than formal education has. My working definition of "business," derived from the interviews and from my understanding of the literature, is as follows: business is the exchange of goods or services between people for a determined value, usually in the form of other services or goods, such as money or valued objects. Business' Perceptions of the /Mature of Business Business perceptions of the nature of business in this study were all similar. For example, according to Mike (B) 4 0 the nature of business is "service, to make a profit; you don't make a profit, you don't hire more people," a point that was also made by Don (B). What this idea suggests, I think, is that beyond the interest in profit, business has an implicit concern with providing people with work. When a business fails to 3 9 This group of students was interviewed en masse. It was a younger grade and did not provide data that added to or took away from the other subjects. 4 0 Recall from Chapter One the designations in parentheses refer to business representatives (B). educators (E) and students (S) who participated in this study. 3: 129 make a profit, there is a corresponding and consequential impact on the availability of jobs. Jobless members of society are limited in their purchasing power, which in turn has a corresponding and consequential impact again on business. This contribution to people's livelihood, dependent on service and profit, is but one consequence of business—but a vital one when it comes to the future of students. A second point about business that came up is the competitive nature of business. Bob (B) believed: "[The] business environment is highly predatory. There's no getting away from that. Education...isn't. The gap is there." Bob explained that the competition element of business "applies...whether you're competing in the market with another company or you're competing in a workplace for your job." Businesses compete for resources and profits, and employees compete for positions. As Don (B) unabashedly explained: "It's the key to existing in this society. You have to have a job and you need businesses to have jobs." Obviously Don sees business as critical to people's very survival, to their ability to find work and thus their basic ability to "exist." It follows, therefore, that something as central to the values of business people should also be central to the form of a partnership between business and education. The business people participating in this study clearly think of business as a vital, demanding, and rational activity both in and for a society. There may even be reason to consider whether such a value is critical to the educational system that aims to prepare students for life, and such questions could well be expected to arise within the scope of business-education partnerships. A n implied difference between business and education that Don (B) makes about the nature of business is that, "in business we have a very clear focus, we have a very clear plan to get to that focus. Management by objectives and results is a big 3:130 thing at [Larson-Simpson Technologies]." Evidently, there are systemic procedures practiced by business that may or may not be practiced in schools. Educators' Perceptions of the Nature of Business Educators' views of the nature of business were similar to the business viewpoints on a basic level, but quickly diverged when it came to the very purpose of business. Blair (E) expressed views similar to the business people about the nature of business: "Business is competition. They're profit-oriented. We live in a capitalistic society." Instead of seeing it as vital to life as a whole, Blair sees the business as a particular ideological approach, driven by competition and profit, in accord with the governing ethos of capitalism. Aaron (E) expressed a similar idea. He said that business "is all about money...greed. [With] every major business their main thing is to make money or profit. The more money you make the more successful you are." Carrie (E), who co-taught a component of her course with Chantal (B), agreed with Blair (E) and Aaron (E), equating business with "kind of a money making machine." Kris (E), who also ran his own business outside of school, said: "Sell and buy, sell and buy, [and] provide a service." These educators are distancing themselves and their work from their view of business in its most base form, which is all about making money. Still, Kris does make reference to business providing a service. Or as Blair put it, "bottom line: we're [parents] trying to buy our kids skates." Even though Blair uses a somewhat trivial example (forgive me hockey players and figure skaters) to indicate the interdependent relationship of business and society he is granting business a necessary role. Carrie, in accord, stated: 'The nature of business is to make money and I think that whatever they have to sell, [they would find] the best way in which to market that, sell it and turn over a profit." 3: 131 In the sets of perceptions above it is evident that the respondents' views of business focus primarily on profit making, not necessarily as an evil, but merely as a given in the nature of business. None of the participants contest this point although at a certain level—as we will see in the next chapters—business profiting from education raises some concerns for some stakeholders. I asked Carrie (E) to substantiate her perception of business practices. She shared this glimpse into her past, which shows much more sympathy for, and understanding of, business' viewpoint than was typically expressed among the educators in my sample: I guess because my father had his own company, and watching and seeing what the bottom line was as far as the end of the year, and watching him pacing the floor when it was difficult for him to meet the payroll. I've also seen when things were good, the material things, benefits from it. A n d the bottom line was to acquire work and, I feel in his situation, to take great pride in the fact that he was a successful businessman. I don't think necessarily for him that it was just the dollar but he was respected and there was integrity, and those are important. Those are things that I have viewed from his situation, but I think when you have employees to deal with you have to make sure that their needs are taken care of, too, and that is usually in the financial. A paycheque has to be there at the end of the month. Carrie's snapshot of business as a first-hand observer helps to clarify both the human element in business and some of its systemic structure. It is especially worth noting that her first reflections on business lacked any sense of connection with business' efforts to seek only profit. A n d yet a connection emerged with great vividness once she explored her ideas in greater depth, realizing that there were some systemic elements evident in business that obviously appeared in education as well, such as a paycheque, material benefits, work. I then asked Carrie (E) if it is fair to say that teachers work to "make money" just as businesspersons do. She replied: "I don't think you go into teaching thinking 3: 132 that you are going to be making a lot of money at it. So again, my view is that business is there to make money and that is their bottom line...[T]he value I would get from [teaching] would be the satisfaction of knowing that I have done a really good job." Here you can see, with Carrie's reflections, how some understanding of business as a potential partner with education is well within an educator's grasp, based as it is in this instance on personal experience. Other possible points of convergence may be found in her mention of job satisfaction. Leslie (E) believed that business has its educational side to it, and that, as such, education is about preparing students for lifelong learning. She drew upon her knowledge of IT workers, such as her husband, "[who] need to take courses all the time, so they're always upgrading because [the IT field] is rapidly changing. A n d for them to keep up with their colleagues, they have to take courses every year." Education, which does not stop at the end of high school, forms a critical factor in staying competitive and knowledgeable about the job. Students' Perceptions of the Nature of Business In the responses of participating students there appeared to be no differences of opinion from the preceding sections about the nature of business. Huang (S) believed business exists "to earn money." Frank (S) spoke of "developing products, services." Their perceptions echoed those of the teachers. On the other hand, Steve (S) referred to business in terms of a complete cycle of "different components: harvesting raw materials, manufacturing, processing, and finally, sale." He added, "[it's] almost like the cycle of nature: You need certain aspects of it to work together to keep going." What initially sounded like a textbook definition to me actually is a basic understanding of business as a complex system. 3: 133 The point is made somewhat ironically by Jason (S), who described business as "supposedly this horrible place where everybody works, you know, 50 hour weeks, and to come home, you're tired, stressed out, lives horrible, and nobody cares about you." Expressed here at least is a sense of business as hard work, otherwise missing from the responses of other student participants. At the same time Jason balances this view with the additional comment that "[you] also hear good stories about how people make their own way." His perspective of, really, the workplace with his sense of the drudgery and possibility provides a fuller sense of what business is about and that could be a point of convergence between education and business. Final Analysis Systemic Factors in Business' Purpose Respondents saw an immediate connection between business' profitability and its role as employer. By focusing on business's profit fixation, without crediting the employment contribution, educators are reducing the likelihood of being able to enter into a productive, respectful partnership or dialogue with business people. When a business fails to make a profit, there is a corresponding and consequential impact on available jobs. Educators certainly are not educating the young for anything but full participation in society, and that would include a wide range of employment opportunities, rather than being limited to the non-profit and government sectors. Without jobs, most members of society are limited in their purchasing power, which in turn has a consequential impact on business. This practical economic factor cannot help but have repercussions for education. One place where educators and business people might turn to in search of a common ground is the United Nations (2002; see also UNESCO, 2002) through its 3: 134 business-related committees. The UN's "Civil Society/Business" link leads to a web page with the following quotation from Kofi Annan, U N Secretary-General: 'Thriving markets and human security go hand in hand; without one, we will not have the other" ( From Annan's statement it appears that business is viewed as the crucial link in ensuring peace (security) in other areas of human activity. Although education would be instrumental in understanding the business and security connections and processes, it is not viewed as the critical means. Having said that, the UNESCO (2002) website specifically indicates the need for social partnerships with business. In the response to the general question about why this move to partnering, the website indicates: The complexity of globalization requires outreach to partners, both new and established, whose expertise will help share the benefits of this phenomenon on a more equitable basis amongst all countries and their citizens. Moreover, the challenges presented by the Knowledge Society depend on key strategic alliances. These must include outreach to the Business sector since this is a major stakeholder in the development dynamic. ( This stands as a bold challenge to the typical perception of business by educators. If education and business are able to dialogue reasonably about how they can and do work together to improve society then they have grounds for partnering together for a greater good not only in the local community but also on a global scale. For certain, the easily overlooked elements of a fuller understanding of systemic factors, which lie within reach of the opinions expressed in the interviews, are critical to any meaningful development of, and dialogue about, business-education partnerships. They were present in the discussion of business and they will become all the more evident when I turn to the participants' perspectives on the nature of education. 3: 135 Consider, for example, how Carrie (E), in discussing the business dealings of her father, provided the only mention of "integrity" in these reflections on business. A consideration in bringing business and education people together may be the practice of integrity. Unless there is just such a sense of the integrity of each partner's work (whether the word "integrity" is used for it or not), the respect and trust necessary for a successful partnership or even the initial stages of dialogue about partnering possibilities, will be difficult if not impossible to establish. From the perceptions of the participants business' purposes include profit- making, predatory practice and employer. Some of the outcomes would be economic builder and sustainer, determiner of workplace needs and change agent. Al l these factors are intrinsically linked to the way business operates, or its structure. Systemic Factors in Business' Structure Education is a continuum in human lives between formal education and life after school including in the workplace, a point implied or stated by the business participants and mentioned by Leslie (E), for example. Similarly Jason's (S) perception of the workplace and personal effort depicts both the generalities of life in the workplace and the balanced possible good that can and does arise from people who labor for their goals. Here is the other side of business, as something more than greed and gain, which certainly points to how initial, impersonal and general impressions of the partner's intent and nature need to be overcome with a deeper understanding, grounded in a more systemic approach to the business-education partnership discussion. 3: 136 Conclusion If business-education partnerships are to experience some degree of success, the perceived divergences between the two partners will need to be acknowledged and explored by the participants. It may mean digging down into personal experiences—as Carrie (E) did—or thinking about how one's own economic position might affect one's perceptions and working productively within those divergent perspectives, even as those viewpoints could well be altered as a result of partnering together and discussing these very issues. 3: 137 CHAPTER 4 PARTICIPANTS' PERCEPTIONS OF EDUCATION There has always been a link between education and the outside world, in that educational organizations, often without being aware of it, strongly reflect the general non-collaborative, hierarchical culture of society. (Jones, 1992, p. 257) This chapter explores the interviewees' perceptions of the nature of education. The participants were asked the following questions: 1) What is the nature of education in your understanding? In other words, what are your perceptions of education? 2) How do you substantiate your understanding or perceptions? 3) What metaphor would you use to describe education? 4) What is your response to the suggestion that teachers are in the "business" of schooling and resist external commentaries, direction or expertise especially from business? If you are in agreement, why do you think this is? If not, please provide further clarification. 5) Is there consistency, or alignment, between school and the business culture, or is there tension? Where does the consistency or tension lie? As with Chapter Three, I have divided up the three groups of interviewees to provide their responses to these questions under thematic headings followed by an analysis section that delves further into the responses of the participants. Recall from Chapter One the list of participants were as follows (see Table 1 in Chapter One for details): Participant Represents: Don, Corporate Administration (Larson-Simpson Technologies) Business G/rg(SkyHigh Airlines) Business 4: 138 Mike (SkyHigh Airlines Business .Ve^fMaksGhift Engineering) Business Dawn (Knowledge Architecture) Business Kevin (Mason Good) Business Chantal (GuWwefs Travel) Business Karen (SportShoe Canada Lid 1 Business Bob (Learning Society) Business Bill - Superintendent Aaron - Leadership and management in the school Al - IT instruction, ITM, leadership in the department Colin - Research and direction Robin - Teaches business education. Career and Personal Planning, liaise with businesses in community Kris - Teaches ESL, photography Ralph - Teaches IT, school administration Blair - Teaches avionics, shop, liaise with SkyHigh Airlines Leslie - Teaches IT Carrie - Teaches home economics, hospitality, liaise with Chantal of Gulliver's Travel Eunice - Teaches social studies Matt - Teaches sciences Ferdinand - Teaches IT " OttO '-I- V ' ' • - University researcher and teacher-on-call Dave - Student Huang - Student Frank - Student Steve - Student Jason - Student Henry - Student Gordic - Student Nicol - Student Karl - Student Annika - Student RJ - Student Raj - Student 12 students 4 1 - Student 4 1 This group of students was interviewed en masse. It was a younger grade and did not provide data that added to or take away from the other subjects. 4: 139 The Nature of Education Businesss' Perceptions of the Nature of Education Bob (B) thought the nature of education was about "collaboration [and] personal development. I was amazed, [he said] when I started making visits to classrooms over the past year, particularly in the senior grades, [at] the degree to which teamwork is now really part of the classroom experience." In seeming agreement, Mike (B), along with Greg (B), believed that the fundamental purpose of education was to "supply knowledge [and] life skills." Other businesspersons interviewed touched on similar values. Bob continued with a comment that takes us into the mechanics or systemic structure of education. He observed: "The stand-and- deliver approach of the talking head droning to 30 kids, it just isn't there any more. That's a good thing. Challenging mind you." In some classrooms that Bob visited, curriculum delivery has changed which he praises. There is an implicit challenge to those educators who still practice the "stand-and-deliver" approach to teaching. Bob (B) also made an interesting observation about the differences between business and education. He claimed, "the essence [of education] is more on the personal development side compared to business where it's more predatory [and] competitive. I'm not saying that in a critical sense; that's just the reality." This idea of business as a competitive system because it seeks profit and market dominance is part of its nature, which we read about in Chapter Two. Note that this is not a condemnation by Bob. Neither did the other interviewees from business denigrate business for its ethos of success, or drive for increased "bottom line." By contrast, the nature of education is somehow "softer." It is as if the educational mandate is a kind of rounding out the whole person as part of social preparation, which Bob admits. 4: 140 He said: "If as the Mission Statement of the [BC] Ministry of Education identifies that part of the role of education is to prepare students for citizenship, then putting them on these game farms [i.e., schools] that are isolated from the main stream of the community is the farthest thing from preparing for citizenship." On the one hand Bob tells us that schools have changed for the better. On the other hand he criticizes schools as inhumane institutions that do not fit into the society that has put them there. This offers a potential point of divergence point between business and education. The literature, by the same token, provides a number of corroborating views about the institution, which we saw in Chapter Two. Don (B), similar to Bob (B), focused on a related structural element, the educational environment, but from a different angle. He noted, "[Teachers] are faced with an absolutely enormous challenge because of the change in the moral standards in the world, the change in the environment, the change in technology. There's nothing firm now as far as the family is concerned, and they've [i.e., educators] got a major struggle." This observation is important in the discussion of education (and partnerships), because, with the world as it is, according to Don, education is in a struggle to accommodate many changes. In appreciating those systemic factors and their elements, business, along with the rest of society, has an opportunity to come along side education as a co-laborer in the acculturation and education of children. Don (B), similar to other participants interviewed, also suggested that formal education, "should produce students with a very wide understanding of the world around us, and hopefully some depth that can help them integrate into society and into business." In other words, we school in personal development and knowledge 4: 141 and somehow in that process of development and knowledge-building students will manage "some depth" of transferable skills and develop abilities necessary for social life and productivity in the workplace. The slight offset from other business participants here is in Don's claim that schools shouldbe places of preparation, implying that currently they are not. In all, business was in agreement that the nature of education was about preparation for life, including for work. Educators' Perceptions of the Nature of Education Robin (E) gave the following depiction of the nature of education: The pat curriculums are really, really tight with a lot of information and so I think in there, there is a legal obligation to look at the curriculum and try to follow the curriculum. So, when people look at that they are overwhelmed...not only by this huge wealth of information, this huge bank of information, but when they get to the classrooms they see the diversity of classes, and the microcosm of all the social issues that are going on in our society and all the dysfuntionality that all the kids are coming to school with. Al l the issues are there in classrooms. People are just bent trying to get through their curriculums, sticking your heads above the water, seeing the rapid change around you and