The teacher explains how groups will be chosen: “you all will fill out a job application, and then all applications will be anonymized. All students will read all job applications. We will then go down the results of yesterday’s test, and begin with the highest scoring performer, who will select his partner from the pool of job applications, and then go on down the list.” What an interesting way to make students more thoughtful about the importance of job applications and to better prepare them for completing them. It also gives students the other kind of experience, managerial experience, training them how to select employees from a stack of applications. This is cool. “The job you are applying for,” he explains, “is a cell biologist at Genotype.” He explains then both the education required, and the salaries provided, for a cell biologist (BA and MA, $115,000). The teacher tells me that this format of lab partner choosing (by job application) is his own design, and that for the next lab, students will apply by preparing and submitting a resume.
I watch Carol as she completes her job application, typing into a template she downloaded from her on-line course calendar. After the routine information, she focuses on her employment history, which the teacher suggests they complete with their experience in part-time work, volunteering, and chores. Completing this is their homework tonight; some students email it to themselves, others download it onto a jump drive.