Are Vocational Schools Making a Comeback?

NPR Talk of the Nation discusses post-secondary education and the differences, stigmas, and social issues concerning technical education under current NCLB legislation.  A little over 40 minutes, yet thought provoking and informative.


2 thoughts on “Are Vocational Schools Making a Comeback?

  1. I have always been a big believer in Vo-Tech schools. Vo-Tech teaches you how to actually do something. Quite frankly, a lot of regular four-year colleges simply teach you about a lot of stuff but not much about how to do anything with it. This is why many college graduates complain that they have a degree but still can’t get a job. I personally believe the stigma about Vo-Tech has been promulgated by those four-year colleges as nothing more than a marketing tool.

    As teachers going into the middle and high-school level, you would all be doing your students a disservice if you only encouraged them to go to four-year colleges. The best things about Vo-Tech is that it is relatively quick and not nearly as expensive. Then, if you still want to go to that four-year college, you can get a much higher paying job in order to work your way through. Being a drafter, electrician or a computer support person sure pays a lot more than working at Wendy’s. Finally, that Vo-Tech training is always there to fall back on in case that English or History degree doesn’t turn out to be as profitable as you thought it would be.

  2. My family carried that same stigma, that a four-year degree is more weighted than vocational learning. But I ask, what good is learning if it cannot be applied? In my professional career I hope to encourage ‘the System’ to incorporate more real-world applications of core information. For example, teach math and physical science during P.E. class. Teach english and literature together with choral music. Apply weights and measures to the body and nutritional health. Many science standards can be met by applying information to a school garden. And, technical learning in the higher grades should not be restricted to birdhouses and mailboxes. If students can learn what the information is good for while they are learning it they will develop skills for lifelong learning and develop self-efficacy.

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