Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Average is Over" - Art Education Can Be The CURE for AVERAGE

"In a world where average is officially over, there are many things we need to do to buttress employment, but nothing would be more important than passing some kind of G.I. Bill for the 21st century that ensures that every American has access to post-high school education."

Thomas Friedman - January 25, 2012 New York Times Op/Ed piece "Average Is Over"...
This is an important opinion piece, but it doesn't bring the full issue into focus suffiicently. America's schools DO NOT (even attempt to) educate students to be other than average. They educate them to be 'highly effective average' or to excell at a curriculum that aims at a standardized, average body of knowledge. A college education, as Friedman refers to it, represents more of the same - not something different.

Visual Art Education is one area that can be developed to remedy this! It's not  there now. Not only because it is marginalized and offered in dribs and drabs, but because it hasn't been conceived and developed to satisfy the need that Friedman identifies. We've got our work cut out...

See Friedman's piece below

"Op-Ed Columnist

Published: January 24, 2012
" In an essay, entitled “Making It in America,” in the latest issue of The Atlantic, the author Adam Davidson relates a joke from cotton country about just how much a modern textile mill has been automated: The average mill has only two employees today, “a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to keep the man away from the machines.”

Davidson’s article is one of a number of pieces that have recently appeared making the point that the reason we have such stubbornly high unemployment and sagging middle-class incomes today is largely because of the big drop in demand because of the Great Recession, but it is also because of the quantum advances in both globalization and the information technology revolution, which are more rapidly than ever replacing labor with machines or foreign workers.

In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.

Yes, new technology has been eating jobs forever, and always will. As they say, if horses could have voted, there never would have been cars. But there’s been an acceleration. As Davidson notes, “In the 10 years ending in 2009, [U.S.] factories shed workers so fast that they erased almost all the gains of the previous 70 years; roughly one out of every three manufacturing jobs — about 6 million in total — disappeared...”

Read the full article at its source: