Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vocational Education Finally Gets Some National Press

In the tidal wave of attention paid to college these days - from college readiness to debates about the college-for-all mentality that is wreaking havoc public education - a few voices have been singing the praises and trying to promote a rational return to vocational ed for quite a while now.  Despite the misguided views of the Department of Education and Bill Gates, not everyone needs a four-year liberal arts bachelor's degree, even though higher education is not necessarily a bad idea for anyone.  Now, the issue may get some much needed national dialogue since Time Magazine has thrown the spotlight on it with the article Learning That Works by Joe Klein.

Among the more interesting points is the exciting developments in Career and Technical Education in Arizona.  From what Joe Klein sees, Arizona is leading the nation in developing career education through business-school partnerships, much in the tradition of the apprentice/guild model of old.  Arizona's stories of teaming school districts with local businesses is a success story in truly preparing students for the workforce, even as they hold on to the academics that people worry about when they cautiously discuss CTE.  Other insights from the article include revelations about careers and earning potential - for example, welders can make as much as $48/hour, and auto mechanics trained in computer science and automotive technology can be in demand to the tune of $100K/year.  Clearly, schools owe it to their students to put this information on the table.

A great follow-up to the idea of CTE, if you have never read it, is Matt Crawford's insightful treatise Shopcraft as Soulcraft.  At least that's a teacher's view of vocational education.

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Apollo Precision Tools 64-Pc. Travel And Automotive Tool Kit

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