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Introduction

This paper analyzes the educational curriculum in Washington State, in America. This state has an education system that aims at imparting various skills on learners in order to present a competitive job market, or make them self-reliant in future since they gain various skills. The main agenda of this paper is to look deeply into the academic curriculum of Washington state and analyze the way various subjects are perceived by learners; to analyze of how the science and art subjects are taken by the students and look at how effective these choices are in the view of globalization and modernization that was especially evident in the 21st century.

Washington, just like any other state in the federal government, is characterized by its own education curriculum, which ranges from kindergarten or pre-primary schools to university level. Students are able to choose their career paths as soon as they have reached an academic level where they are supposed to specialize in various disciplines (Kingsbury, 2008). This paper looks at the work of Friedman, who is the author of the book called The World Is Flat. The book analyzes the situation of the increased globalization, especially in the 21st century, and the consequences of globalization to various economies around the world. An emphasis is put on how the globalization is affecting the affairs of Washington State due to the increased demand for professionals who have a substantial understanding of science subjects, as opposed to arts being favorites to the majority of Washington students.

Friedman’s book looks at the globalization in the sense that it has led to a lot of innovations in the study of science and technological aspects to the extent that most of those innovations require those people being well trained and with proper skills to handle such devices appropriately. Most of students in Washington prefer art subjects, as opposed to science and math; the education system carters for two years of both math and science respectively, where learners engage themselves in both science and math, and afterwards they are free to embark on the subjects of their choice.

The Problem

This paper aims at citing various problems related to the education system of Washington State. The introductory part reveals that the education system of Washington is not aimed at math and science subjects as it is expected; rather it gives the individual students much freedom to choose the disciplines they would like to undertake in their post-secondary education. This freedom means that many students are free to venture into art and the related subjects at the expense of science and math, which they perceive to be rather difficult in Washington State.

The world is changing so fast, and the globalization is setting in. Friedman highlights ten factors that have made the world become even more flat. Most of these factors are scientifically and technologically oriented. Such issue like the workflow software allows machines to communicate with fellow machines, thus, making it easier carry out the activities at a faster rate than it has been before. According to Clark (2004), uploading and outsourcing are also some of the factors promoting globalization and modernization in the sense that uploading helps communities to collaborate in online projects making it easier to complete various tasks earlier enough; outsourcing portrays the process by which organizations are able to divide tasks in order to enable them to be done in a costly effective and efficient manner. Offshoring and supply chaining are some of the issues that are cropping up in the global economies and are leading to a big progress in the commercial world, which, in turn, boosts the economies of various nations.

The problem facing the United States and Washington State, in particular, is the lack of the enough qualified professionals to work in high skills requirement fields like engineering and other scientific disciplines. This problem can be blamed on the academic system of Washington, which does not emphasis the science and math disciplines, especially in the post-secondary or college level. The lack of emphasis has led to many students specializing in art related disciplines at the expense of sciences, which could lead to the availability of many professionals steering a lot of progress in the technological fields being skills oriented (Amanda et al., 2008).

The lack of enough and well trained professionals is a threat to the future of Washington; also, one should remember that it has comparatively the least number of higher institutions of learning in America. The educational setup creates a lot of gaps, especially in engineering and technological sectors. This means that the state has to seek for external solutions to its domestic problem of expanding the economic sectors being technologically reliant (Kingsbury, 2008). The deficit created by the education system in Washington and in other states of the United States of America leads to the importation of qualified engineers from such countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan among other countries that have a large number of well qualified professional engineers (Birnbaum, 2008).

The importation of such professionals is also a problem to the economic well being of Washington in the sense that this over reliance on the foreign experts tends to slow down the economic progress due to the lack of availability of such individuals whenever the state intends to put in place various strategies to steer its activities to the desired levels. The foreign experts are expensive to be hired and paid, since most of them takes an advantage of the lack of competition to ask concerning the issue what economists term to be the abnormal rewards. Others do not understand and appreciate the work ethics of Washington, thus, many at times found themselves as loggerheads with various employers.

The lack of enough professionals in the technical fields means that the state has to surrender a lot of money to foreign experts that end up investing or even submitting the earned money into their home countries, thus, denying Washington authorities from a chance to tax such incomes appropriately. According to Gillet (2004), Washington as a state has to come up with various strategies that have to be put in place in order to enable it to address the problem of shortage of engineering experts in its country and to look for a proper means for addressing this issue before it is too late. It can lead to a crisis in future if, for example, those countries’ supplying scientific manpower decides against the issue of supplying to the United States on brain drain or other making the other strategic basis.

This paper looks into the problems related to the education curriculum in Washington and analyzes how the system has led to the shortage of professionals especially in engineering and technical fields. It compares Washington curriculum to the Japanese curriculum, which usually produces a lot of engineers and other highly skilled scientists each academic year as opposed to Washington and the United States, in the whole. Japan is the fourth country globally when it comes to an enrollment in both math and science. The emphasis is put on these two key areas that are believed to be extremely fundamental for the future of individual students and the nation, in the whole (Kingsbury, 2008).

In Japan, more than 19% of students enrolled in various universities and colleges take science courses in engineering as the main field among other scientific career courses. This percentage means that the Japanese system of education is more concerned about the technological well being of its people as compared to the United States of America,  in which the majority of students prefers art courses symbolizing a lot of freedom rights entitled or given to them by their curriculum.

In the global ranking, Japan is third country globally when it comes to the enrollment in science; meanwhile the United States is the eleventh one. This shows how committed Japan is in ensuring that most of its citizens acquire the scientific knowledge that shall help them to embrace a global change and modernization, since they have a sizeable number of well skilled professionals and do not need to import any other internal employees as this occurs in the case with the United States (Kingsbury, 2008). It is clear that the United States needs to take various measures that will enable its curriculum to put a lot of efforts on science and math, especially in high schools. This shall help in increasing the probability of students that will end up pursuing the engineering and other technological courses helping Washington to stop relying on foreign experts to participate in most of its technical progress as dictated by the globalization and modernization.

This paper is a proposal that is going to shade light on what actually has to be done in order to save Washington state and the whole country as a whole from the current problems that it is experiencing; this paper notes that the reason as to why there is a shortage of experts in the fields of engineering among other technological fields is as a result of the current curriculum.

The current curriculum does not give enough backing to science and maths which is key subjects when it comes to preparing future engineers, the emphasis of this proposal is to increase the academic years that a student has to study both math and science from two to three years.

The reasoning here is that when academic years are increased, this shall enable the students to be well equipped and prepared to take engineering courses once they join colleges and universities

Potential Solutions

The main concern and objective of this paper is to keenly look at the problems associated with the current curriculum in Washington State. It is going to come up with the reasons behind these problems and to go a step further to propose various solutions that have to be put in place in order to see it in the future; the people of Washington are able to find domestic solutions to technological and professional deficits rather than importing experts from Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia among other countries to come and help in modernization processes.

This paper is of the opinion that the majority of solutions on the lack of enough scientific professionals should be curriculum oriented in the sense that the curriculum should be made in a way that favors the increased enrolment in scientific courses. There are a lot of proposals made by the Department of Education in Washington State that are suitable for enhancing the progress in science and math subjects. The idea of increasing the number of years that students take in studying science and math from two to three years respectively is acceptable (Amanda et al., 2008). The additional time means that students will have an opportunity to study these disciplines for comparatively longer periods of time, and this, in turn, will increase the probability of those enrolled into such courses like engineering when they join colleges or universities.

This proposal looks at the modalities of the proposed curriculum and stresses the importance of increasing the amount of academic time spent on studying science and math; this is done in high schools since this is a stage where a good foundation is built which shall enable one to pursue technical courses at higher institutions of learning with a lot of confidence.

This proposal is of the view that the proposed curriculum should be put into use at the expense of the current one so as to help Washington state to realize the desired supply of experts in the near future. This curriculum is more realistic and can be relied on when it comes to increasing the number of professional engineers and programmers in the country.

This recommendation is practical in the sense that most students tend to make the decisions pertaining their futures especially when they are at high schools and if the emphasis is put on these two disciplines that are math and science. There is a possibility that the increase of professionals in engineering and technical fields will help to reduce the over reliance on the foreign experts to tackle the domestic issues. The effectiveness of this proposal is that when the students are encouraged to take an extra academic year in science and math, they may have a positive impact on the future choices of the respective students. The argument here is that, as the one continues doing something over a prolonged period of time, there is a possibility that that particular individual will finally develop the passion for that activity.

According to Birnbaum (2009), those students engaging into such an extended program can sharpen and deepen their understanding of those two key subjects being essential in embracing the technological change in Washington, and if the problem of shortages of professional engineers happens this will get a remarkable solution. The second potential solution is the introduction or strengthening mentoring programs in all institutions of learning across Washington. This program will give various professional counselors and mentors a chance to bring students on board and engage them into discussions that will help them to realize the importance of science and math.

Mentorship, guidance and counseling are going to encourage students to go on pursuing science and math and also to help breaking the stereotype that these two subjects are tough. Mentors can help students to device the new ways of approaching the two subjects and to mould the students’ perceptions of the two subjects. This idea of having mentors and counselors especially those who have previously excelled into those subjects is more effective in the sense that those mentors have a proper understanding of those disciplines and are in a good position to help young people to shape the way they view these critical subjects being particularly salient in promoting the modernization and extensive use of modern technology in Washington State (Birnbaum, 2009).

This paper is of the opinion that when well qualified and experienced mentors are incorporated into high school mentoring programs in Washington, learners will benefit fully from this program. It will help to reduce the number of professionals employed by such domestic companies like Microsoft in the near future, since Washington should have a large number of engineers then. Another solution to this problem is the political goodwill and support. The political figures ranging from the senator to the grass roots should be consulted and make them a part of the solution to the problems affecting Washington State. It can be comparatively easier to find the solutions in the presence of the political support and goodwill than in the situations where the political figures are not brought on board. The main reason for mentoring is to encourage students to have a positive view of the increased academic years and to make them develop interest in science and math.

Politicians are the decision makers in legislation; and, as a result, the academic or curriculum experts should make sure that they involve the politicians in their plans to gain the support and backing. Politicians can come in and contribute financially towards the establishment of various structures and measures, which may lead to the increased number of students learning science and math, especially at the high school level. Politicians can pass the laws and legislations that support the construction of additional learning facilities creating the humble learning environment for students, thus, boosting their morale and desire to participate in science and math academic activities.

There is certainly no way the education sector can rule out the support of political leaders. This kind of problem is of concern of the whole state and the federal government of America, in the whole, since it is associated with the future of the state and how the technological advancements are affecting the economy. The government will always be willing to support the programs that lead to supply and train the enough professionals and experts (Clark, 2008). The other solution is the changes in syllabus and retraining teachers. This means that the syllabus should be changed in a manner that allows science and math to be taught in a friendlier manner being student centered.

The new curriculum is set in a manner that shall give students enough time to express themselves and device the methods that will make teachers to reason with students so as to make the learning environment friendly. Once the learning environment has become calm and friendly, many students will be interested in joining math and science classes in order to enjoy the conductive environment facilitated by teachers. The issue of retraining teachers is to impart on them the emerging skills of teaching the two subjects. It can be found out in some schools. Teachers have been in service long enough without being given a chance to refresh their skills, so there is a need for this kind of refreshment to enable them to handle modern students effectively.

The new curriculum implies that teaching shall be elongated, this availability of teachers for longer hours will encourage those students perceived to be weak to consider learning science and math at the higher levels, since they will be of the opinion that once they have been stuck, their teachers can help them out where necessary (Lloyd et al., 2008). That kind of reasoning will increase the enrolment in science subjects, and, finally, this will increase the probability of those deciding to pursue careers which require the science and math background. In the end of the day, Washington shall be able to close the gap created by a shortage of professionals in the fields of science and technology which the state is currently hiring from abroad.

All the above discussed solutions are, without a doubt, the best that can effectively tackle the issue of the lack of enough professionals in such fields like that of engineering. They look at various aspects surrounding this shortage and come up with the mechanisms that will guarantee that in the near future Washington will close this gap and start making use of domestic engineers being equal to the task. This analysis brought on board unusually many stakeholders, including teachers, political leaders, parents and the society, at large, to come up with the measures that shall discourage the over reliance on foreign experts to control the affairs of the eminent importance to the people in Washington and the United States, in the whole.

Proposal and Strategy

The main concern of this paper is to change the curriculum of Washington by increasing the number of years that a high school student has to study science and math from two to three years respectively. This means that the freedom entitled to students by the current syllabus shall be reduced in the sense that both math and science shall be compulsory for three consecutive years before a student is allowed to chose the subjects in which to major in.

This curriculum change shall enable students to build on their knowledge pertaining these two subjects therefore increasing the probability of they taking engineering and other technical courses at the higher institutions of learning.

The reason behind this section is coming up with or developing various policy proposals. It is coming up with the strategies to develop these proposals in the best ways possible. This section will make use of the political, legislative and other sectors concerned or affected by these policies, and, as a result, better proposals have to be put in place in order to enable the education system bridging the knowledge gap existing at the moment. The main problem facing Washington is the lack of the enough number of graduate individuals that have the necessary skills to enable the economy to move forward. It is clear that globalization has altered the way activities are carried out in most economies around the world( Lloyd et al, 2008).

Washington State experiences a lot of changes brought about by technological advancements and globalization, and, as a result, the economy of this state requires the highly skilled people to work in such companies like Dell and Microsoft among many others. This paper has to come up with the policies that will enable the state to move forward by coming up with the mechanisms embracing the increased enrolment in science and math, especially at the high school level. The main reason why Washington lags behind when it comes to the enrolment in math and science is simply due to the fact that the current curriculum does not lay the enough emphasis on the two fundamental subjects. The curriculum gives students a lot of freedom as they are only allowed to take these two subjects for only two academic years.

These two academic years decrease or reduces the probability of students taking the technical courses like engineering in the higher institutions of learning like the university and college. This means that students are not given enough time to develop the substantial understanding and passion for the two subjects (Hurst, 2007). The policy makers should strongly back the proposal of increasing an additional year to make it three years that the one has to take science and math as the compulsory subjects. This shall increase the probability of students taking the courses like engineering in the higher institutions of learning like the colleges and universities.

There are remarkably few individuals who have graduated from engineering schools in Washington because of the costs involved in training people for such professions; the state government should move fast in building and equipping various institutions in order to help them to reduce the cost of training such professionals. There are many individuals in this state that would like to become engineers and scientists but do not have the means of achieving their dreams. Washington State government should compose from a committee that shall oversee the implementation of the new curriculum to see at it that each and every learning institution is doing the required things where students are taught as per the requirement of the curriculum (Goldin et al., 2008).

The government currently has a large number of foreign experts due to the lack of enough local professionals. The arrangements should be done to engage these experts into mentoring activities, and they should be urged to go a step further to help in training the domestic citizens to be ready for the professional undertaking. The reasoning here is that foreign experts are more knowledgeable and experienced than their domestic counterparts, and, as a result, they should help to train the local people on how to carry out certain tasks that require a lot of technical know-how’s. These foreign experts should are helpful when it comes to stabilizing the new curriculum.

In order to implement this curriculum, the department of education must look for additional teachers who can handle these two core subjects, the foreign experts working in Washington may at times be asked to step in and help in teaching of science and math.

The government can arrange the remuneration of foreign experts that accept to help the locals to gain skills. The legislation or laws should be passed to enable the department of education to liaise with foreign departments of education, especially those of Japan to enable it comparing the two curriculums and even borrowing some ideas from it. The student exchange program can also be arranged by the government in order to give Washington students an opportunity to interact with others and, in return, learn from them of the ways how they should enhance their understanding of the disciplines in question.

This paper looks at that argument by analyzing the curriculum of Washington and other issues related to the education and finds out that a lot has to be analyzed and done in order to reduce the over reliance on foreign experts. All stakeholders have to play their part in making the whole system exercises a success. The government and teachers have been identified as the parties that have to play the biggest roles of encouraging students to take on science and math and move ahead in becoming engineers and even programmers that would bridge the current gap being a result of over reliance on foreign experts to tackle the domestic issues in Washington.

The department of education should engage parents in the implementation of this new curriculum where parents should be required to persuade and urge their children to take science and math concepts seriously while at school; this shall bring in a culture where students are willing to take these two subjects with a lot of confidence.

 Consequences of the new curriculum

This paper is a proposal that looks aims at coming up with a new curriculum that has to be put in place in order to ensure that at there are many students who finally takes engineering and other technical courses in America, especially in Washington state.

The new curriculum proposes that there shall be an additional year that students have to study science and math; that the amount of time spent on the two disciplines should be increased from two to three years respectively.

This idea of increasing the number of academic years spent on studying math and science has both the positive and the negative consequences on both the learners themselves and the society at large.

From the positive point of view is that the new curriculum shall help to bridge the gap that exists between the current demand and supply of professionals who are supports to work as engineers or even computer programmers.

The state has a shortage of experts who can help to channel the economy forward and as a result, these kinds of a curriculum is very helpful in guaranteeing a steady supply of experts and reduce on the overreliance on foreigners.

The main concern of this proposal is to find solution to the shortage of qualified professionals in the fields of engineering and other technological fields in Washington State.

On the negative note, the implementation of this proposal will have implications on both students and society at large, from the students point of view this curriculum shall discourage a large number of them from attending school since the additional academic year is not going to be conducive to them.

The dropping out from school shall be due to the fact that those students who are weak in both science and math will have a reason to quit schooling; if this is the case then the number of those taking up engineering fields shall decrease excessively as compared to the current situation.

This curriculum emphasizes on math and science at the expense of other fields of specialization, the negative impact of this emphasis is that many students shall be discouraged from taking arts and other social sciences.

The fact that emphasis is laid on math and science means that the society is going to lack enough experts in the fields which are not related to either math or science; this is an alarming situation since the society may not be able to cope with shortages of experts in key social science fields like law among others.

In conclusion, the policies put in place by the government should be properly monitored and followed up in order to ensure that the number of students taking science and math has been increased. When this is done, Washington can be assured of having enough engineers in the future to enable it to stop relying on foreign experts.

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