Developing Professionalism in the Child Care Industry: An Instructional Program Guide for Child Care Workers
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Workforce education, as distinguished from job training, emphasizes instruction in learning how to learn because of the swiftly changing nature of the workplace today. Our focus through the Workforce Instructional Network (WIN) was to work with small businesses in a small town to design instruction aimed at improving the literacy skills of individuals currently in the workforce. We accomplished this by forming a partnership between Southwest Texas State University (SWT), the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, and the San Marcos Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The success of our project supports the use of a process-oriented education model which emphasizes transferable skills presented in a series of mini-courses from five to fifteen weeks. In order to develop our curriculum according to an education model, we identified those generic workforce education skills underlying job families rather than concentrating solely on the content knowledge needed for a particular job. Through developing competence with these skills, we hope to have equipped workers for future job changes, many of which cannot even be anticipated in the fast-moving business environment of today. Moreover, these newly developed literacy skills will provide a strong foundation from which the workers can educate themselves given new workforce education demands, resulting in future training savings to the businesses involved. This future efficiency aspect is particularly relevant to small businesses which often rely on on-the-job training by supervisors and co-workers rather than maintaining training staffs.