Getting to the Root of the Problem


Originally Published by New Horizons For Learning, "On The Beam"
An International Human Resource Network. Volume X, No. 1 By Jan Kuyper Erland

A medical professional omits a detail in a surgical procedure, with possible serious consequences for the patient, and malpractice implications for the practitioner. An auto mechanic completing work on a brake job fails to replace a small part in the reassembly sequence, placing the owner of the vehicle in jeopardy. An airline cockpit crew fails to properly follow the pre-flight checklist, resulting in the wing flaps not being in the proper position for take-off. The plane crashes with a heavy loss of life.

A milling machine operator incorrectly reads a dimension in the machining sequence of a casting. Certainly not fatal, but it reflects poorly on the operator's competence, causes production delays, and increases costs.

These are but a few examples of information sequencing errors and omissions that are occurring in our workplace with increasing frequency, with results from minor to catastrophic.
They are part of our everyday scene, visible to all, as technology increases and the mental demands of today's occupations intensify.

What relationship do these and similar step-wise "How-To" information processing errors have to do with classroom and occupational training? Perhaps a great deal.
In today's educational system, the application of critical and analytical thinking is being neglected. There is no general term that describes the critical skills needed to compute, operate machinery, communicate orally, remember procedural information in manuals, and read charts, maps, blueprints, or invoices.

Students, after being taught to read, memorize, take notes and interpret multiple choice tests, often lack the ability to apply this training to competent on-the-job-performance. They are deficient with problem-solving skills, have difficulty evaluating and interpreting information, drawing inferences, arriving at conclusions, and assigning importance to implications and possible consequences.

How can we bridge the gap between formal classroom education and competent daily work skills? There is no one simple solution, however, a cognitive training approach of rapidly scanning information is showing outstanding results:The Bridge To Achievement ® with High Performance Thinking ® training.
Increasing recognition and attention must be given to the importance of sequencing ability and how it applies tothe foundation of analytical ability and critical thinking. The result could very well be more efficient and productive students and workers in our society.

Jan Kuyper Erland, Intervention Consultant
Mem-ExSpan, Inc.
The Bridge To Achievement ®
Tele: 785-749-5402




Evidence-Based instruction for high academic achievement