This article discusses the shift in workforce trends.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Entrepreneurship, human resources, employment

Key Questions to Explore:

  • Do people prefer to work on a freelance basis or is this the only alternative?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Students will debate if the described trend in hiring workforce talent is happening because people want it, or whether it is driven by circumstances.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • Lisa Hufford’s premise is: “40-50% of the working population prefer to be independent.” Discuss what this means.
  • Divide the class into two and assign each group a side in the debate: Be it resolved that workers prefer to be independent contractors instead of full time employees.
  • Allow students time to research and prepare their arguments.
  • Use representative groups to conduct the debate. This would have one or two members from each group represent their group’s position in the debate. Leave an empty chair for other group members to come up and support their representative with additional information.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Have students write a one minute paper expressing their view, with an accompanying  rationale.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students understand the different ways people work and earn a living.

Confirming Activity:

  • Have students create a table showing the different types of free agents in the workforce, as described by Lisa Hufford, and to include full time employment as another type of work. In small  groups, have students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each and give an example of a situation when this type of work might be best.