News & Notes
Stephen Blair Venable Develops “Real World Studies” Concept
The term “real world studies” was coined by author and futurist Stephen Blair Venable in his landmark book The Commencement Odyssey: Why We All Have a Stake in Transforming the American Workplace. (See SurgoBooks.com.) In the text, Venable explains that the knowledge gained by students during the course of their post-secondary education would be considerably more useful to them if it were informed by an understanding of the real world context in which such knowledge will ultimately by applied – an understanding that, according to Venable, should be conferred as a part of every post-secondary education. Venable is not suggesting that colleges and universities develop a more vocational orientation or offer job training. Rather, Venable is suggesting that students be exposed to the “source code or genome” of the traditional workplace – a source code consisting of profound conflicts and wrought with peril for graduates – through a multi-disciplinary curriculum based on his ground-breaking analysis in The Commencement Odyssey and informed by concepts from history, economics, sociology, human psychology, and ethics. Venable makes a very compelling case that the time for Real World Studies is now.