Book Reviews

The New Basics: Education and the Future of Work in the Telematic Age

Reviewed by James Redfield
Superintendent, Lester Prairie Public Schools, Lester Prairie, Minn.



The requirements for an emerging workforce will continue to change. The New Basics: Education and the Future of Work in the Telematic Age is the latest attempt by author David Thornburg to identify some of the educational requirements.

He argues that all students need the lifelong skills that he has identified from researching current job descriptions. The new basic skills are those that should be required of all workers, says Thornburg, a futurist and consultant.

In The New Basics, the author agrees with former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich that the new class of workers needs the skills of abstraction, systems thinking, experimentation and collaboration. In addition, he identifies the skills of digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity as necessary for the present and future workforce.

Because curriculum reform is slow moving, Thornburg suggests these new basic skills be incorporated into current subjects and curriculum.

(The New Basics: Education and the Future of Work in the Telematic Age by David Thornburg, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Va., 2002, 119 pp., $21.95 softcover)