It’s not about people but about capitalism
The news keeps coming in, and it’s not encouraging. Declining home prices and the resulting slowdown in the American economy have put manufacturers, investment bankers, and retail employees out of work. With less to spend on luxuries–and less credit from banks and lenders to draw on for large purchases–less money is circulating through the market. Industry analysts fear that this cycle could have long ranging effects on the U.S. job market. Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Ethan Harris, chief United States economist for Lehman Brothers, describes the U.S.’s current economic woes as a “slow-motion recession.” According to Harris, “In a normal recession, things kind of collapse and you have nowhere to go but up. But we’re not getting the classic two or three negative quarters. Instead, we’re expecting two years of sub-par growth.”
In the meantime, job seekers can look to other parts of the economy for career security. According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, at least five areas should see steady growth and offer excellent career prospects in the coming years.
Recession Proof Career # 1: Healthcare
Health care is one area of the economy where growth has been little affected by the credit crunch. Employment of nurses has remained especially high: currently the largest healthcare occupation (employing 2.5 million), nurses are expected to add another 587,000 new jobs to the workforce by 2016. In 2007, registered nurses earned a median salary of $60,010.
The need for new applicants has grown at such an alarming rate that many employers are recruiting workers laid off in other sectors of the economy. Faced with a growing patient population, Clair Young, chief nursing officer at the Cleveland Clinic, wants to add 300 new nurses to her staff of 3,800. The applicants are being lured from other parts of the economy with tuition reimbursement and flexible schedules. “Unfortunately,” says Young, “one of (our) strategies is capitalizing on the recession.”
Recession Proof Career #2: Energy
With high demand for fuel causing widespread uproar, energy companies have generated tremendous profits and may need to expand their workforces. In February, Exxon Mobil posted the highest profits ever recorded by a company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion (The company’s $404 billion in sales exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries). Reacting to backlash from groups disgusted at the high profits, Exxon revealed the scope of its investment in discovering and developing new sources of energy: more than $80 billion between 2002 and 2006, and an additional $20 billion in 2008.
The turmoil of gas prices and the effort to implement alternative fuel sources have spawned tremendous growth in environmental engineering. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental engineers should expect employment growth “much faster than average” through 2016, with an estimated 25 percent more jobs to open in the field. Job seekers can take advantage of these projected openings by earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. And if tuition costs have you pondering the decision, keep in mind that environmental engineers earned a median salary of $72,350 in 2007.
Recession Proof Career #3: Education
Over the coming decade, careers in education–higher education in particular–are expected to remain stable. Fred Crowley, economist of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, notes that UCCS typically enrolls more graduate students during a recession. And though during the last recession the university coped with hiring freezes and frozen wage increases, Crowley noted, “No one actually lost their jobs here.”
In K-12 education careers, opportunities are likewise expected to remain welcoming. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, increased retirement, higher student enrollment, and teacher turnover should add 2.8 million teachers to the workforce over the next eight years, with the greatest gains at the preschool and kindergarten levels. Though surprising to some, kindergarten teachers earned a median salary of $45,120 in 2007.
Recession Proof Career #4: Security
Though the economy may have its ups and downs, the importance of local and national security personnel remains constant. The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security may need to fill an additional 83,000 jobs over 2008 and 2009. In order to help train new applicants, many universities and colleges are offering associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees in homeland security, as well as certificate programs in security.
Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of police officers and detectives to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations–7 to 13 percent–between 2006 and 2016.
Recession Proof Career #5: International Business
Although the recent banking and credit crunch has sent painful shockwaves through the world economy, a few international business careers should remain stable, even during a recession–in particular, finance and accounting careers. Steve Birkshire, Regis University professor explains, “(b)ecause of the issues with Enron and all new requirements–combined with the shortage in the field–that’s going to keep accountants in business. They’re really protected.” According to the BLS, job openings for accountants will increase by roughly 18 percent through 2016, with the best prospects for those with a college degree and/or CPA certification.
A Golden Opportunity
Job hunters may wonder what it will take to land a job in the new economy. Experts advise job seekers to keep an open mind. Nelson Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, advises job hunters to grow comfortable working “in the service of new technologies.” Staying involved in continuing education is also important. Relevant coursework in new job skills–especially computers and software applications–are a must-have for today’s job hunter, and many recession-resistant jobs require extensive postsecondary education. Most importantly, however, job seekers should maintain a positive attitude.
Who would have thought that the materials from plants and animals can be turned into a renewable energy which is now known as the biofuels. There are so many natural materials that can be turned into this type of alternative energy including animal manure, vegetable oil, sugar cane, and wood. But why use this energy since there are still companies selling high-priced energy sources?
One of the main benefits of this is that it can be cost-effective for all those who would use it. By the time that the technology for making this type of fuel becomes available worldwide, it would provide an energy source that is far cheaper compared to the conventional gasoline.
There is also a bigger source of material for the biofuels as mentioned before. This makes it very environment-friendly since it is an efficient way to recycle and stop adding more reasons for global warming.
Fossil fuels would require you to wait for thousands of years before it can be used as a source of energy. This alternative on the other hand would only take a couple of weeks or days. It is easier and faster to renew therefore it is more convenient to make this renewable energy.
Countries that would also opt for the biofuels have more secured source of energy. If they would decrease their dependence on the fuel sources from foreign countries, they would be able to have a lower price and more secured energy source.
And in relation to that, since the renewable energy will be made within the country, it would spawn new chances for employment. People living within the rural areas will get to have employment thus, the stimulation of economic growth as well. Moreover, there will also be bigger demand for crops that are needed in creating this alternative energy.
Ensuring the quality, education, and expertise of any healthcare provider prior to receiving healthcare services, treatments or procedures is essential. This is especially true of individuals considering international travel to a variety of popular medical destinations around the world. Because of the increasing popularity of international medical travel, organizations from around the world are addressing quality of care issues, safety issues, and attempting to set standards, policy, and best practices for healthcare facilities and providers.
In the United States, one of the preeminent accreditation and quality service standard setting organizations is called the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies healthcare facilities, hospitals, clinics, and care centers throughout the United States. The international arm of this organization, called the Joint Commission International, has been working to help provide quality standards of care throughout the world, and since 1994 has worked with health departments and organizations in over 80 countries. The focus of the Joint Commission International is to improve safety of patient care through certification and accreditation processes and services.
The ISQua, or the International Society for Quality in Health Care provides added assurance that processes involving training and standards used by JCI in their surveys of organizations meet high international benchmarks.
Why Do Facilities Benefit from a JCI Accreditation?
JCI accreditation carries many advantages to domestic and international medical facilities, hospitals, clinics and providers. JCI:
Is recognized around the world as a healthcare quality and patient safety provider. JCI surveyors and consultants are trained medical professionals who advocate and focus on patient quality care and safety. Standards are developed and tested by healthcare professionals and experts around the world. Focuses on quality care improvement with a focus on medication safety, infection control, safe facilities and proper accreditation. Maintains JCI advisory councils throughout Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and European countries to provide counseling and guidance on quality and patient safety issues
In order to be accredited by JCI, a healthcare facility, hospital, or clinic must meet standards designed to maintain and improve quality of care.
World Alliance for Patient Safety
In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety in an effort to address issues of quality of care in a multitude of global destinations. Patient safety, infection control, and issues regarding quality of care were dressed by the heads and leaders of WHO agencies, health policy makers, and representatives from patient advocacy groups around the globe to advance goals in patient safety, as well as to reduce unsafe healthcare practices.
The World Alliance for Patient Safety was created and assigned to the task of increasing awareness as well as commitments from political and health organizations around the world to improve healthcare facilities, safety, and develop policy and practices for patient safety for all countries and states that belong to the World Health Organization.
The WHO agenda includes actions such as:
Developing global standards for policy and procedures Promoting evidence-based policies and procedures Initiating and encouraging research Promoting international recognition in patient safety Assisting in improvement in focus areas in multiple countries
The Best in High-Tech
The ISO, (International Organization for Standardization) also provides international standards of care that offer economic and technological benefits for society. Medical travelers who venture to destinations that provide ISO technologies and standards can be assured they are receiving the best in services, techniques and procedures provided by a wealth of high-tech equipment and training. International standards ensure that equipment and facilities comprise state-of-the-art technology, and expertise and experience in their use. ISO standards offer consumers the assurance that equipment and technology that may be used to provide services is safe, reliable, and high quality.
When choosing any medical facility or provider, ask questions about accreditation and certification. More international healthcare facilities from around the world are seeking accreditation by organizations like JCI in order to compete in healthcare fields and industries in the 21st century.
As more individuals from around the world travel to foreign destinations for healthcare, issues such as quality of care, accreditation, certification, experience and expertise are becoming vital issues that will help set superlative standards and policies that provide the best of care for any patient, regardless of destination or medical procedure.
The Ecological and Political Impact of Colonialism in the Third World During the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Colonialism is a system in which a state claims sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries ; or a system of rule which assumes the right of one people to impose their will upon another (Brett, 1973). During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rich, powerful states, including Britain and other European countries, owned third world colonies. ‘Third world’ originally referred to countries that did not belong to the democratic, industrialised countries of the West (the First World) or the state-socialist, industrialising, Soviet Bloc countries (the Second World) (Chilton, 2004). This essay uses specific third world examples to summarise the main impacts of nineteenth and twentieth century colonialism, when colonial powers reached their peak. It focuses on European colonialism in Africa and India.
One view of development is that, at the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well being (Rodney, 1972), which European colonial powers achieved through economic growth, by exploiting the natural and human resources of their colonies. Europe and Africa confronted each other in respective states of development and underdevelopment, the latter term being defined by Europeans in relation to the lack of African progress in the techniques required to sustain an advanced materialistic culture (Brett, 1973).
It can be argued that colonialism had some positive effects. For example, the British instigated irrigation networks in India: by the 1890s nearly 44,000 miles of canals and distributaries irrigated a quarter of India’s total crop area, increasing agricultural output. But this too had some negative effects, including waterlogging and salination of the canals and greater prevalence of malaria with more mosquito breeding areas (Arnold, 1996).
Colonialism was also supposedly beneficial because it provided infrastructure for economic development and some social services. However, this essay argues that the impacts of colonialism were overwhelmingly negative and infrastructure was provided solely to enable the colonial power to exploit the natural resources and workforce of the colony.
The main ecological impacts of colonialism relate to:
Land and forests: through deforestation and cash cropping;
Extraction and mining: through changes to the landscape and economic systems;
Introduction of animal and human diseases by colonial settlers.
The main political impacts relate to:
Destruction of local institutions;
Coercive and repressive state rule;
Development of artificial national boundaries;
Displacement of local populations
The examples will show that the impacts are intertwined. Political ecology assumes that politics and environment are thoroughly connected (Bryant, 1998), and the conclusion will draw together the key points.
Deforestation and Cash Cropping:
British colonialism exploited timber for Britain’s industrial revolution. Timber was used for shipbuilding, to fuel steam engines in industry and transportation, and to make railroad sleepers for India’s growing colonial rail network; by 1910 there were more than 32,000 miles of [rail] track (Arnold and Guha, 1995). Forests had to be cleared for the railways, which in turn enabled timber exploitation in deeper areas. Cleared areas were converted to agricultural land for revenue. Ecologically, deforestation resulted in soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, problems of salination, rising water tables; abandoned wells; drying or siltation of drainage channels, and the spread of malaria (Gadgil and Guha, 1992).
In the pre-colonial era, under the Mughals, it was non-timber products such as pepper, cardamom and ivory that were collected through centralised state control. Under the British, emphasis shifted to ‘scientific management’ of timber species such as teak, pine and deodar (Gadgil and Guha, 1992; Bawa 1992). At the same time as imperial foresters sought to eliminate competitor species to favoured tree species, they attempted to restrict alternative forest practices that might ‘interfere with official timber extraction and regeneration operations – shifting cultivation usually being a favoured target’ (Gadgil and Guha, 1992).
In Madagascar, French colonialism from 1896 created deforestation, pushing coffee cultivation over traditional rice harvesting, when it became apparent that [French] producers were able to generate large profits from the latter. This resulted in rice shortages, as early as 1911 . The net effect was an increase in shifting cultivation as people tried to grow rice to feed themselves and coffee as a cash crop. Forests were increasingly fragmented and either destroyed by burning or clear-cutting (Ward, 2002). The state prohibited shifting cultivation in 1909, imposing “rational forest resource management “, to reduce deforestation and allocate land for rice, but then opened up the island’s forests to logging concessions in 1921(1), increasing deforestation and illegal felling of trees. A combination of these detrimental government policies meant that “roughly 70% of the primary forest was destroyed in the 30 years between 1895 and 1925(1)”.
As a result of colonial policies, Madagascar became an importer of food. Local people were displaced and the state gained control over resources. Coffee plantations were notable for having erosion rates nearly twice as high as subsistence plots. Fertile land was cleared and replaced with a persistent monoculture, unsuitable for nearly all plant and animal inhabitants of the previous forest (Ward, 2002).
In Nigeria, the British forced local people to export palm oil to Britain, for use as a lubricant for railways, to make soap, cooking fat and pharmaceutical products. In 1900, palm oil constituted 89% of Nigeria’s total export (Aghalino, 2000). The subsequent decline of the industry due to competition from rubber and cocoa and palm oil from other colonies, undermined livelihoods.
Extraction and Mining:
Diamond mining in South Africa was lucrative for Europe. The colony provided a slave-type labour force to dig out diamonds, while value-added steps, such as cutting and polishing the diamonds, were conducted by a minority of whites in South Africa and in Europe (Rodney, 1972). Mining was harsh work and separated families, leaving women and children unsupported in government reservations. Appropriation of the lands of indigenous peoples resulted in massive displacements of people (Frick, 2002). Major ecological impacts included large-scale destruction of lands causing erosion, siltation, deforestation, desertification and flattening of mountains. Mining also caused pollution of soils and rivers with toxic chemicals used in the industry, as well as air pollution from the dust of bulldozing and transportation .
Diseases (human and animal):
The nineteenth century introduction of steam power enabled shipment of live cattle by rail and sea in numbers previously impossible (Daszak et al., 2000). In Africa, rinderpest, a European livestock disease, killed off between 90% and 95% of all cattle in Africa between 1889 and the early 1900s, also killing other grazing animals. African tribes dependent on livestock lost their livelihoods. By one estimate two thirds of the Masaai population in Tanzania died as a result of rinderpest (Nelson, 2002).
The absence of grazing animals also resulted in growth of grassland vegetation, changing landscapes to better suit the tsetse fly. In Uganda, an estimated 200,000 people died between 1902 and 1906 from sleeping sickness spread by new hordes of tsetse flies (Nelson, 2002). In South Africa, livestock diseases were accompanied by a lung sickness epizootic, which hit in the mid-nineteenth century (Ross, 1999). Colonial settlers also brought smallpox, to which Africans had no natural immunity (Nelson, 2002). Diseases, both animal and human, caused the death and impoverishment of local people.
Destruction of Local Institutions:
In many cases, pre-colonial societies had acquired skills and basic capital, and were developing in their own way. India, for example, was a major player in the world export market for textiles, but lost most of its domestic and export market under British colonialism. Britain raised its protective duty against Indian textiles to a massive 85% in 1813, with major impact on the Indian market. In 1815, the total
value of Indian cotton goods exported to Britain amounted to £1.3 million in value, falling to a mere £100,000 by 1832. Through protectionism and the establishment of the exploitative (British) East India Trading Company, Britain destroyed the Indian textile market and developed its own prosperous textile industry (2).
While India produced about 25% of world industrial output in 1750, this figure fell to only 2% by 1900. This de-industrialisation, which can be defined as movement of labour out of manufacturing and into agriculture, was accompanied by the creation of a poorer, more rural society in India (Clingingsmith and Williamson, 2004). In 1810, 40% of Indians lived in towns, by 1900 only 10 percent did (D’Amato, 2003). Contrary to myths about colonialism being a time of ‘heroic progress through Westernisation,’ the actual narrative [now] should be one of recovery (Cronon, 1983).
Artificial National Borders:
By 1914, frontiers of the African States, which were to emerge at independence in the 1960s had already been laid down on European maps (Clapham, N.D.). Borders restricted pastoral communities and created conflicts among ethnic groups. By one estimate, belonging to Asiwaju (1985), no less than 177 African cultural or ethnic groups are partitioned across borders, representing on average 43% of their country’s population (Englebert, 2001).
In Sudan northern Muslim Arabic speakers had regarded southern non-Muslims as sources of slaves. The creation of Sudan enclosed the two groups, exacerbating conflicts and causing civil war . In other countries there have been conflicts over resources in boundary areas. For example, armed clashes between Burkina and Mali in 1971 and 1985 over the Agacher Strip, which was rumoured to hold oil (Englebert, 2001). There are claims over Ethiopian and Kenyan territory inhabited by ethnic Somalis (Boyd, 1979). Thus, colonialism, through the establishment of inappropriate borders, created (ongoing) political instability.
Coercive Colonial State Rule:
Colonial states exploited local people by imposing high taxes. The average tax burden in India, for example, was twice that of contemporary England, although average income there was 15 times greater at that point in time. The burden of taxation was not counterbalanced by expenditure on infrastructure or human development (Murshed, 2003).
The examples from the third world have shown interconnectedness between political and ecological impacts. For example, Indian colonial railways enabled widespread deforestation and increased disease transmission; for example, the spread of bubonic plague in the 1890s and influenza in 1918-19 (Arnold, 1996). These ecological impacts displaced and killed indigenous peoples and gave the state control over resources, enabling further exploitation to serve a political agenda.
The legacy of colonialism remains. In India for example, the state organised system of ‘scientific forestry,’ established under British rule, has remained unchallenged since independence in 1947, serving the political and economic interests of colonial and postcolonial regimes alike (Bryant, 1997), taking resources away from local people.
The dependency created by colonialism continues. In the 1980s neo-liberal structural adjustment programmes pushed ‘free’ trade on third world countries, based on the idea that markets work best. Trade is unequal. Richer countries subsidise their own producers and supply chains make small-scale producers compete to sell low price produce to richer countries, who capitalise on the value added (Vorley, 2003).
Colonialism was a period of monopoly capitalism, driven by major resource exploitation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as colonial powers industrialised. Europe established plantations to grow cash crops, mines, and transport systems to facilitate the extraction of resources; rails and roadways were designed for commodity export, and not for economic interconnectedness and development within colonies. People were forced by taxes and coercion to work in colonial enterprises in
which they were overworked and underfed; agriculture suffered, food production declined, and hunger, famines, and disease followed. (Podur, 2002)
Many global inequalities can be traced to colonialism. In addition to unequal trade, the creation of borders and states created conflict between ethnic groups, and an unstable third world political system. The scale of unsustainable environmental exploitation could not be controlled by newly industrial nations who were in many cases economically weak. Third world countries have less capacity to cope with resultant environmental problems, but the scale of ecological impact, stemming from colonial practices and exploitation, affect the whole of humanity. Ex-colonial powers can never abrogate their responsibility for what the world has become.
Aghalino, SO (2000) British Colonial Policies and the Oil Palm Industry in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, 1900-1960. African Study Monographs, 21 (1) January, p. 23
Arnold, D (1996) The Problem of Nature; Environment, Culture and European Expansion, New Perspectives on the Past. Blackwell Publishers Limited, p. 178
Arnold D and Guha R (1995) Nature, Culture and Imperialism: Essays on the Environmental history of South Asia. Delhi: Oxford University Press
Bawa, KS (1992) Colonialism, Rural Poverty and the Use of Forest Resources. Conservation Biology, Volume 6, (3), p. 477,488
Bryant, R.L (1997) Beyond the Impasse: The Power of Political Ecology in Third World Environmental Research. Area 29, 1-15
-(1998) Power, Knowledge and Political Ecology in the Third World: A Review. Progress in Physical Geography 22, 1, p. 79-80, 85
Boyd, JB JR (1979) African Boundary Conflict: An Empirical study. African Studies Review, 22, p. 1-14
Brett EA (1973) Colonialism and Underdevelopment in East Africa; The Politics of Economic Change 1919-1939. Heinemann Educational Books Limited. Preface, p. 291
Chilton, S (2004) POL 3570: Third World and Development: what is the Third World available at http://www.d.umn.edu/~schilton/3570/Lectures/3570.WhatIsThirdWorld.html
Accessed 7 February 2005
Clapham, C (N.D.) Boundaries and Indemnities in Post-Cold War Africa: Territoriality and Statehood in Tropical Africa, p. 981-983
Clingingsmith, D and Williamson, JG (2004) Indian De-industrialisation Under the Mughals and the British, p. 3
D’Amato, P (2003) The Meaning of Marxism: Bringing Back the Old Days of Empire, Socialist Worker Online, May 16, p. 9
Daszak, P., Cunningham, AA., Hyatt AD. (2000) Emerging Infectious Diseases of Wildlife – Threats to Biodiversity and Human Health. Wildlife Ecology Review. Science Volume 287, 21 January available at www.sciencemag.org
Accessed 7 February 05
Englebert, P., Tarango, S., Carter, M. (2001) Dismemberment and Suffocation: A Contribution to the Debate on African Boundaries, p. 3-6
Frick, C (2002) Direct Foreign Investment and the Environment: African Mining Sector. OECD Global Forum on International Investment, Conference on Foreign Direct Investment and the Environment, Lessons from the Mining Sector, 7-8 February, p.15
Gadgil, M and Guha, R (1992) This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India. London: Routledge
Murshed, SM (2003) Marginalisation in an Era of Globalisation, July 2nd, p. 4
Nelson, RH (2002) Environmental Colonialism: “Saving” Africa from Africans. Paper prepared for presentation at the Inter Region Economic Network Conference, “Conservation and Sustainable Development” in Nairobi, Kenya and for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 25, 2002.
Podur, J (2002) History Handbook Non-Reformist Reparations for Africa: Repairing the Damage available at http://www.zmag.org/ZMag/articles/february02podur.htm Accessed 7 February 2005
Rodney, W (1972) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications, Tanzania Publishing House, p. 9,18,21,162,224
Vorley, B (2003) Corporate Concentration from Farmer to Consumer. UK Food Group/IIED.
Ward, BC (2002) Land Use, Environment, and Social Change in Madagascar, June 5, p. 9-12
(1) http://honors.rit.edu/~ray/seniorseminar/index.php/Colonialism Accessed 1 February 2005
http://www.angelfire.com/mac/egmatthews/worldinfo/problems/disputed.html Accessed 7 February 2005
Accessed 7 February 2005
http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/85/general.html#colonization Source: WRM’s bulletin No. 66, January 2003 Accessed 7 February 2005
I am from India working as Sr Business Development Manager for a US based Software Product Company catering to the immigration domain. We now want to setup a sales office in London to cater to UK and European markets. In this connection we have been recommended the following locations for office space:
1) 960 Capability green, Luton, Lu1 3PE , UK
2) Dorset House, Regent Park, Kingston Road, Leatherhead, KT22 7PL, UK
3) Maple House, High Street, Potters Bar, EN6 5BS, UK
4) Fountain Court, 2 Victoria Square, Victoria Street, St Albans, AL1 3 TF, UK
5) Knyvett House, Watermans Business Park, The CauseWay, Staines, TW18 3BA, UK
6) Highbridge, Oxford Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1HR, UK
7) ShawHouse, Pegler Way, Crawley, RH11 7AF, UK
Which of the above locations is well connected to all parts of London by Tube Rail for setting up a small 1 person office space ?
Sincerely Regret any inconvenience.
Implementing Strategic Planning in K-12 by Carmelita Thompson and William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PV, Texas A&M System
Carmelita Thompson and William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) offers a pragmatic framework to strategic planning that will move educational organizations in innovative directions. In developing a strategic plan, an educational organization must implement Dr. Kritsonis’ (2007) six fundamental patterns of meaning designated respectively as symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Strategic planning is the process in which an educational organization determines its current status, envisions its long-term goals, makes projections for the future, and develops strategies to achieve those future aspirations. Strategic planning must be flexible and practical and yet serve as a guide to implement programs to evaluate the educational organizations progress. A strategic plan intertwining the six fundamental patterns of the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) constructs innovative analytical and critical thinking that will improve and enhance the performance of educational organizations.
Purpose of the Article
The purpose of this article is to discuss ways in which strategic planning implemented by utilizing the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) creates a high performing educational organization. Skilled strategic planning makes a current assessment of needs, develops the educational organization’s future thinking, builds commitment, and serves as the guiding document for the educational organization. Effective strategic planning includes articulating the educational organization’s vision, mission, and values to set a course for future aspirations.
The First Realm: Symbolics
The first realm of meaning is symbolics. Dr. Kritsonis (2007) states that ordinary language such as gestures, rituals, and rhythmic patterns allow people to communicate on a personal level. Effective leadership is the cornerstone of an educational environment. Eaker and Gonzalez write about learning leaders.
They create systems and processes to engage collaborative teams of teachers in 1) clarifying the essential knowledge and skills students are to acquire for every course, grade level and unit of every instruction 2) developing frequent common assessments to monitor each student’s learning on a timely basis, and 3) implementing a school-wide plan of intervention to guarantee students receive additional time and support for learning as soon as they experience difficulty. (Eaker & Gonzalez, 2007, p. 6)
The leader’s ability to articulate the educational organization’s vision, mission, and values to propel the organization into its preferred future is essential. A vision statement is a description upon which the organization aspires. It emphasizes where the educational organization will be at a specific time in the future. The organizational mission supports the vision and it describes the purpose of the organization. The organizational values state the organization’s intentions and the organization’s core priorities in the organization’s culture.
Implementing the strategic plan requires the use of symbolics. The vision must be clearly communicated within the educational organization. The vision needs to capture the present status of the educational organization, and serve to guide the direction of the organization. As a means of setting a central goal that the educational organization will aspire to reach, the vision helps to provide a focus for the mission of the organization. The vision should resonate with every member of the educational organization. The educational organization must clearly communicate its expectations so that members are able to perform effectively. The strategic planning is effective when it energizes and engages the educational organization.
The Second Realm: Empirics
The second realm of meaning is empirics. Empirics encompass facts and discovering the truth. Dr. Kritsonis says, “These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). According to Dr. Kritsonis (2007), science is concerned with matters of fact and facts refer to data of observation. Educational data collection is vital for strategic planning in educational organizations.
Strategic planning, with an emphasis on empirics, provides an understanding of the design of the educational organization’s assessment of needs, finances, and it allows the organization to set specific data-driven priorities. The educational organization is obligated to be data driven to aide accountability within the organization. It is essential to the strategic planning of an educational organization to conduct a continuum of critical analysis of the system, policy formulation and appraisal, management and monitoring, and evaluation. Gathering data and analysis of the current situation of the organization and the critical issues pertaining to the organization’s status and functioning is required in an educational organization. The strategic planning process requires a multi-method approach in gathering comprehensive data. These multi-method approaches include standardized testing, observation, surveys, interviews, document collection, and other formal and informal measures of organizational status. Findings and remedial options are formulated to provide policy orientations. As the system is analyzed, future direction can be established. Specific programs may be developed or resources may be mobilized based upon the information obtained through the data analysis. A continuum of monitoring, review, and analysis takes places. The learning leadership understands that the organization must continually change (Eaker & Gonzalez, 2007). The more data educational organizations collect, the more effectively the organization can improve. Assessment is required to constantly improve the strategic planning and ensure the execution of the educational organization’s vision.
The Third Realm: Esthetics
Dr. Kritsonis says that health means wholeness which may be regarded as personal wholeness (2007).
The educational organization needs to include the arts in its strategic plan. It is imperative that educational organizations make meaningful connections across academic disciplines and everyday life. The arts can reinforce skills that connect learning to the real world. The additional positive effects of art education on student learning include attendance, communication, and critical thinking. Art education also requires discipline and skill which carries over into the community. A study conducted by Allen, Edmonson, and Fisher (2009) revealed art to benefit students’ verbal and linguistic skills. Allen, Edmonson, and Fisher’s findings were that he nature of fine arts classes was to help students better demonstrate ideas, feelings, and emotions through expressive use of their body and creative skills. This training could be beneficial to students in the form of written expression through TAKS writing and also help students in the reading portion of the TAKS. (Allen, Edmonson, & Fisher, 2009, p. 47)
The Fourth Realm: Synnoetic
Dr. Kritsonis describes synnoetics as “…meanings in which a person has direct insight into other beings (or oneself) as concrete wholes existing in relation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 393). Synnoetics can easily be ascribed to strategic planning. It is imperative that an educational organization understand its present position to understand its future aspirations. Critical analyses of the educational organization’s internal and external environments provide information to assess the organization’s current needs and needs for future planning. The heart of strategic planning is flexibility and ongoing evaluation of both the strategic plan and the planning process to ensure the organization’s success. Dr. Kritsonis clearly states, “A person is a being who both remembers and anticipates. He is related not only to himself as present, but also as past and as future” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 397). This statement can be applied to the educational organization as well. The educational organization must have knowledge of itself to provide the best educational opportunities today, tomorrow, and into the future. The educational organization must gain a historical perspective to determine how previous perceptions influenced current initiatives. The educational organization must also understand the external environment, the global market, to meet the needs of students and prepare them for global challenges.
The Fifth Realm: Ethics
The fifth realm is ethics. According to Dr. Kritsonis, “The essence of ethical meanings, or of moral knowledge, is right deliberate action, that is, what a person out to voluntarily do” (2007, p. 443). An educational organization must incorporate ethics in its strategic planning. The educational organization must establish policies or codes of conduct. Steven Bowman (2008) explains that the best way to describe ethics is by utilizing the following four words: rights, obligations, fairness and integrity. He goes on to say that these words have energies underlying them that seem to get at the basis of ethical considerations.
Ethical standards are important to ensure that the educational organization operates within the law and is viewed by the public as an ethical organization of learning. Codes of ethics within educational organization are necessary for promoting ethical teaching practices. The educational organizational must conduct a continuum of evaluation to promote ethical standards within the organization. Ethics provide justification for the actions that occur within the organization. Ethics provide the base upon which the vision, mission, and values are created.
Some other important ethical codes that are addressed in educational organizations are honesty, integrity, and respect. These beliefs are the very foundation of culture and civilization. The educational organizations must encourage students to collaborate across disciplines and learn the viewpoints and contributions of others. This combination of depth in learning fosters critical thinking skills, creativity, integrity, responsibility, and ethics.
The Sixth Realm: Synoptics
Synoptics is the sixth realm. Dr. Kritsonis says this about synoptics, “This term comprises meanings having an integrative function, uniting meanings from all realms into a unified perspective that is, providing a “single vision” on “synopsis” of meanings” (2007, p. 483). Dr. Kritsonis relates that history is concerned with the understanding of past events. The historian must describe, order, and interpret events (2007). Understanding the past of the educational organization is a basic premise for strategic planning. By reviewing the organization’s history, the strategic planning builds upon past accomplishments or failures to broaden the organization’s reach. This type of planning builds a bold and aggressive educational organization to keep pace with social, economic, and demographic trends with proactive performance measures that gauge organizational success.
The educational organization’s strategic planning method should include a thorough analysis of the organization’s history and current situation. The educational organization must review important milestones to determine their influences on the organization. Effective strategic planning requires the educational organization to visualize the organization’s future status by looking back at its past history. It is necessary for educational organizations to be committed to being more responsive to society. Educational organizations are obligated to provide educational services required by present and future citizens to make the contributions needed to sustain society. The educational organization will meet these obligations by properly utilizing resources provided by taxpayers. Although Miech is skeptical about strategic planning in education, he writes, “Strategic planning can also play an important public relations role in education. For example, strategic planning in education can help improve school-community relations by involving parents and community members in the formal strategic planning process” (Miech, 1995, section 8). The strategic plan can bridge the gap between the schools and the community. The strategic plan also includes the educational organizations commitment to providing access to a broad range of educational services.
In conclusion, education is a focal point for American society today. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush in 2002, is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Education Week, 2004). The No Child Left Behind Act has expanded the federal government’s role in education. This came about because of the wide concern about the state of education. This legislation is expected to target every public school in America. At the core of the No Child Left Behind Act are a number of provisions designed to ensure broad gains in student achievement and to hold states and schools more accountable for student progress (Education Week, 2004).
The need for effective strategic planning is critical for all educational organizations. The constant challenges in education and pressures of student achievement will be guided by a well-developed strategic plan that serves as an integral part of day-to-day leadership and future aspirations in educational organizations. Dr. Kritsonis’ Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) provides a pragmatic framework that connects strategic planning to the six realms of meaning. The six realms provide the foundations for strategic planning that will be vision, mission, and value driven which will create a successful educational organization. The strategic planning aligns the organization with the environment and explores perspectives and cultures from around the globe to achieve long-term stability. Strategic planning is an ongoing process. Strategic planning in an educational organization will provide a framework to support high-quality, student-focused education.
(2009). The value of fine arts education:
A student-centered analysis. National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal, 25(3), 28-49.
Bowman, S. (2008). Embedding ethics into strategic planning. Retrieved on July 5,
2009, from http:// www.conscious-governance.com/strategic.html
Eaker, R., & Gonzalez, D. (2007). Leading in professional learning communities.
National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal, 24(1), 6-13.
Education Week (2004, September). No child left behind. Retrieved on July 6, 2009, from http://www.edweek.org/rc/issues/no-child-left-behind/
Kritsonis, W. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX: National FORUM Journals.
Miech, E. J. (1995). The rise and fall of strategic planning and strategic planning in
education. Retrieved on July 5, 2009, from http://www.hepg.org/her/abstract/310
Dr. William Allan Kritsonis has served as a superintendent of schools, principal, teacher, director of field experiences and student teaching, university professor, editor, publisher, invited guest lecturer at the Oxford Round Table in the United of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Since 1983, over 4,200 scholarly articles have been published by National FORUM Journals
What I dream for Pakistan is something not impossible. The 62 years after Independence gave Pakistan many things to learn and many events to experience. It was a tough route for progress after achieving Independence with extremely limited resources to begin the journey. The seed of hatred sowed by British rulers on leaving the sub continent made this region an active volcano since decades. The Kashmir issue, the issue of disputed areas like Junagadh and Kutch always led this region to perpetual bleeding. The anarchy which the British Empire sowed in this region is still eating our resources, our strengths and more over distracting our focus to become a developed nation. India though has achieved remarkable progress in the last few decades, but the present clouds of war and confrontation would again drag both these countries to the point of agony. It is true that the slogans like Amn ki Asha (Hope for Peace) cannot be made successful unless the Governments of both these countries could build trust in each other and step back from the alleged actions of dismantling each other’s peace by infiltration, supporting terrorism and strengthening insurgencies. Both India and Pakistan blame each other for triggering unrest in each other’s region and much is seen as established fact in recent times when Pakistan blames India for triggering insurgency in Balochistan and Tribal Areas while India blames for insurgencies in Kashmir region and in other parts of India. It is a need for today and for the future of our future generations that Pakistan and India may stop becoming characters of foreign masters to blow each other for the interest of a power which is always there to see this region destabilizing and staying at the tip of a volcano. US and Jewish Interest in this region are purely to trigger more conflicts more wars and more unrest just to increase their influence in this region. Both India and Pakistan are being intimidated by each other’s grave threat and their hatred is being multiplied with the passage of time. The fake actions of Mumbai attacks were definitely plotted to throw this region into perpetual agony but God showed mercy on us and we were all spared from a war that could have been devastating for ages to come. Today both India and Pakistan should think that fighting with each other would only throw us centuries behind from the track of progress and we would not be able to give anything laudable to our generations to come. In present times I would want that Pakistan should revamp its goals to achieve progress in a faster pace to become a developed nation and an example for the Muslim Ummah. Unfortunately the political parties today in Pakistan have different priorities and their prime goal is always to cash the benefits attached with power they achieve for 4 years. Democracy in whatever shape exists in Pakistan is not strong and the system is also facing severe collapse. I have closely drawn few important guidelines for a comprehensive national policy which would cover more than a decade to come to set certain targets to achieve development in electric speed.
In my opinion, if education is not provided to every person of this nation, our dream for progress would always be a dream and would never see the reality. For educating the masses, a strong program must be developed bringing education to the doorsteps of the poor free of charge and the children of Pakistan would be provided quality education free of charge. If Government is not finding it easy to achieve this goal, private partnership and the help of certain NGOs or Charity organizations may be sought to formulate a one year crash program to give basic education to every Pakistani whether children or elders. This can be achieved and it is not impossible. Involving Multinational and Established Corporate Groups in this quest could be extremely helpful.
Another most important issue is health, which is now a big problem for the nation. With Education, the area of healthcare for each citizen should be given a priority. In this area, we can formulate a joint policy involving Multinational and established corporate groups to bring healthcare standard for every citizen of Pakistan to a mediocre level and later could be elevated to a higher level.
The provision of reasonable residence to every Pakistani should be a top priority. I have seen that in Venezuela and Cuba the successful program of Plastic Homes can be taken as a huge example to achieve the target of providing residence to each and every family of the country which is living under poverty level. A mass survey of such families and provision of such residences to them could give a huge relief to the families who are forced to live in slums and substandard living conditions throughout the country. The program of Plastic homes can also help removing slums and illegal katchi abadis from many urban areas of the country. An organized and well maintained colony can also be extremely helpful in controlling law and order situation where it would be easy to access these colonies rather than finding it hard to penetrate into the narrow streets of slums we now have in many parts of Pakistan. These homes can also be provided to villagers or rural areas and this technology can be used to build schools in these areas plus building public toilets and shops too.
Pakistan has biggest problem of power crisis. Presently on immediate basis we should take seriously the offer of China to provide us excess electricity they got in their regions close to Pakistani border. A transmission line or whatever the technology allows can be utilized to immediately counter the problem on priority basis to save our Industrial progress which is badly hampered due to power shortage. Further, the gas shortage must be immediately overcome by signing the Gas pipeline project with Iran to immediately cover the shortage of natural gas faced by our Industrial and domestic consumers. Pakistan need to build more dams now on urgent basis to overcome the water and power shortages in the country.
To initiate a rapid growth in Industrial sector, initiatives and lucrative offers must be given to local and foreign investors where new Industrial zones to be developed in less developed areas of Pakistan. Tax holidays and many other offers can be formulated. Subsidized Electricity and Gas should be provided to these Industrial sectors for 3 to 4 years until they develop into a highly operational Industrial zones.
Internal security has been a major problem for the country. We can cope up this problem with the help of latest technology. It must be ensured that educated and well trained personnel to be inducted in Police department and in other law enforcing agencies. Complete automation of Internal Security system with the help of latest and affordable biometric and other similar systems to be provided to these agencies. This target can be achieved in mere 2 years time if proper planning is done on priority basis. The inclusion of private sector in developing the most effective surveillance system aided with security cameras, voice detectors, finger print and genetic record of the suspects can be extremely helpful to curb the present wave of crime.
The Judicial system in Pakistan is causing great problem due to delay in proceedings and piled up cases since decades due to lack of interest in solving those issues. It is a need that Judicial tracking system may be introduced and every case should be given a timeline for resolution. After the maturity of timeline or expiry date, the most appropriate verdict must be accorded. The Judiciary understands well how they can bring this idea to reality,we all need our Judges to act in the best interest of our nation.
SIM based National Identity Cards is now the most important need for today. These cards must be used in swapping machines installed in main exit and entry points of the cities and on every airport, railway station, bus stand and other exit points like sea ports etc. These swapping machines must be connected to central database which may keep the record of inter city movement of the people living in this country. Any person found entering in the city other than the city of his residence must be reported through this swapping machine system. This system alone can solve many problems pertaining to the security. The need for a Police University is now more important than before. Today the world is advancing to a higher level in the field of intelligence and security arrangements making the developed country extremely safe for any sort of terrorist acts and most of the terror conspiracies are now unfolded before they occur. I dream and I am committed to facilitate the Government if they want my help to elevate the security level in this country. A target of maximum 10 days with Hydroelectric projects to be achieved in 10 years time.
In these tense times, the nation is badly missing international sporting events and other cultural festivals which may bring life back to normal in our country. Presently due to security situation staging any big international event seems impossible. But to elevate the sporting aptitude of the nation local tournaments must be organized which must be immensely advertised and arranged on a bigger scale. With the help of Corporate Giants we can achieve this goal too. What I dream with a brilliant plan that in 2 years Pakistan can become an important sporting nation in Soccer, Tennis, , Squash, Grand Prix Racing of both Cars and Motorcycle plus Ice Hockey and Rugby. This will clear the dust in minds of many people around the world about this beautiful country. Nothing is impossible we can do that if we are committed. Like Cricket and Hockey, Pakistan can become a tough competitor in the above mentioned sports and I am sure Insha Allah (God Willing) we can achieve this target too with strong commitment. We can take the help of our Arab friends to set up stadiums for Soccer, Rugby and Tennis and I hope that USA, UK and Australia would help us in elevating the standard of these sports in our country. The time is for peace and sports has the biggest potential to bring peace in this world.
As a nation, Pakistan is very sensitive in seeing India as a trustworthy neighbor. For the sake of the future of our generations to come the resolution of Kashmir issue must be kept on priority. It is hard that both India and Pakistan would step an inch back from their stance on Kashmir issue. Right now the only solution which seems possible is that both these neighbors would declare Kashmir as a mutually administered region. With legislative council governing this region with members of both India and Pakistan. Kashmiri people would be allowed to choose their own leader who may rule this region under the umbrella of this mutual administration. I think Kashmiri people do want peace more than anything now and if India and Pakistan would be able to resolve this issue on the notion mentioned above, there is no point Kashmiri people would oppose it. I must say that both these neighbors should stop themselves from being used by the international conspiring forces who want this region to be thrown in perpetual confrontation to ensure their military equipments, arms and weaponry to be sold here for billions of dollars. Our Government should not become the actors for other’s interest. People of both the nations should decide that we should break the wall of hatred between each other and try to give peace and love a chance to flourish. The peace among these rival neighbors would bring many fruits to the region including the reduction in defense budget and resolution of crisis of water and natural resources in this region.
Although the hope for peace is there, but Pakistan should also formulate a system to ensure that every healthy and young citizen of Pakistan must compulsorily take the paramilitary training. These training sessions may twice a year and would include both boys and girls to get training of combat situation. Though Pakistan’s intention for peace is always important however, we cannot close our eyes from the fact that until the issues of disputes stand between us and India, the possibility of any military conflict would be alive like a flame of fire. In these circumstances, it is quite necessary for every citizen of Pakistan to be prepared and must obtain basic training for combat, first aid, nuclear and conventional attacks plus handling war time situations. It is also very necessary that youth must be given lectures and serious documentary movies may be prepared to bring awareness to nation about the importance of paramilitary training for every Paksitani.
In the area of Defense against any aggression, Pakistan should elevate its technological skill to overpower the bigger enemy with ease. Pakistan should involve youth of Engineering Universities to build new kind of weapons to counter the threat of Areal and Sea attacks from an enemy of enormous size. The development of strong missile defense system and inclusion of more armed UAVs plus spying UAVs may enhance the capabilities of our Army. The technology presently available for decoding and distracting enemy missiles must be achieved and enhanced to ensure complete security from areal and missile attack on our country. The recent report that Pakistan is developing the Military Robots for different combat situations is a healthy sign. Similarly the enhancement of our Navy and developing it into a strong force is a need for today.
Pakistan has one of the most powerful armies of the world enjoying complete supremacy on its enemies on technological front. The multiplying the manpower of armed forces is a need for today. Pakistan can increase the number of soldiers in Pak Army and can offer defense assistance to many Islamic nations who are not militarily strong. It is my dream that Pakistan may achieve in future the status of a country having an army serving in many nations to ensure their geographical integrity. Contracts for defending Islamic countries can also bring huge foreign exchange to our reserves. This matter is to be taken seriously.
People of Pakistan should now be given equal opportunities irrespective of caste, financial status and religion. Religious crimes and honor killings to be stopped for ever. Women should be given their rights and they must be brought into streamline to earn in their profession along with their husbands and other family members to put a positive impact on their income. Pakistan now needs every person to work day and night to bring Pakistan to the level of a strong and developed nation. Proper legislation to ensure Women’s right should be passed. The name of Islam cannot be allowed to be used in negative acts and meanings.
For the betterment of the people and to strengthen the respect for each other’s faith, a strict ban, on hate speeches by different religious sects and similar literature with biased propagation against certain community, must be imposed.
We all believe that Pakistan has the most talented brains in the world. We should utilize our youth in the field of research in every field like Science, Economics and Combat technology. Pakistan has all the potential to become a strong leader of Islamic nations and peace loving nations of the world.
The points discussed above are basic guidelines for formulation of a long term policy for the Country’s future. I would be glad if the readers would identify more areas to be addressed for inclusion during formulation of proposed national policy for the next 5 decades.