Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workforce

Authored by: Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell , Margaretha Vreeburg Izzo

Handbook of Adolescent Transition Education for Youth with Disabilities

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415872782
eBook ISBN: 9780203837320
Adobe ISBN: 9781136869761


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Historically, the purpose of education in the United States is to prepare youth to become productive members of society, including maintaining employment, being good citizens, paying taxes, and contributing to our economy (Hanley-Maxwell & Collet-Klingenberg, 2012). The success of schools in fulfilling this purpose has been called into question as the global economy has challenged America’s ranking as a world leader in the “high skills-high wages” race (Taskforce on the Future of American Innovation, 2005). Preparing youth for employment in this rapidly changing job market requires schools to reconsider both what and how we teach so our youth will have the skills to successfully compete for 21st century jobs. As a result, significant questions remain how to best prepare our youth for successful transitions to unknown future employment. These questions encompass the preparation of youth with and without disabilities.

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