A tweet pointed me to this article by Don Tapscott. Tapscott (the Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital guy) sees the conflicts in Tunisia and Egypt as harbingers of a coming generational conflict. The argument is based on the growing number of young people in these countries who find there is little for them – few employment opportunities, but a way to share their frustrations using technology.
I cannot help but see similarities in the employment situation in education. There have been general accusations regarding the quality of the profession and now rejection of the validity of the tenure system. It is true that those of us in the profession for some time make a higher income which of course is the case in nearly any “profession”. This tends to be the way things in most occupations go. What would be the basis for a generational difference in reaction to this pattern? Impatience? Lack of a long term vision? As I understand the research on expertise, the performance of new educators improves for several years and then levels off. So, just for argument sake, assume that 6-10 years marks the end of the experience benefit. Would this be the same for other professions? What long term consequences to the quality of practice would there be should “educator” come to be seen as a young person’s job?