Educating Through Apprenticeships
The majority of children today who receive their education in a formal setting still learn to read, write and do simple mathematics. The goal is to give them the basic knowledge they need to be able to learn about other subjects that will prepare them for life, and this has long been a standard educational model. Apprenticeships were used in the days when there was little formal education, but they are now making a comeback as school districts have realized they need assistance in preparing their youngest citizens to be productive members of society.
Serving an apprenticeship is nothing like it used to be, and students are benefitting from the update. Centuries ago, apprentices were considered the lowest of workers, and they often lived in harsh conditions for many years. They were slowly taught a trade by doing the meanest chores, and their goal was to serve the master who had taken them on. It might take decades before they learned enough to break their ties, and some of them never did. There were no standards for teaching, passing them on to the next level or even releasing them from service.
Today’s apprentices are not in service to a master tradesman, and there are standards of educational value that must be met by the tradesmen who are responsible for educating their charges. Fair treatment, constant monitoring by authorities and standardizes systems are all in place to ensure there is continual progression for the apprentice. Many of the tradesmen must be fully licensed before they are allowed to take on apprentices.
It might appear that using the apprenticeship system is a step backwards in educational systems, but this is untrue. Today’s apprentices are given an opportunity to focus on the work they will be doing throughout their life, and they cut out the learning that is unnecessary to their main goal.