ERIC Number: ED252724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Dec-1
Reference Count: 0
In the Name of Excellence: The Ambush of Vocational Education.
Contrary to expectations a decade ago, the United States has not buried the dichotomy between vocational education and academic education. Instead, as shown by the publication of the report, "A Nation at Risk," the academic community is again declaring war on the vocational education establishment. This report, which stresses the need for excellence in education, is in fact a cry for elitism in education. For example, the statistics that show that the great increase in student enrollment in vocational education is viewed by the academic community, at least by those who serve on the national commissions who publish reports, as a "dire warning signal" of the "rising tide of vocationalism," which they codify as "mediocrity." However, the great "need" to "protect" students from vocational education may actually be a need to protect the jobs of the academicians, who suffer from declining enrollments in their courses. The reason for this dichotomy is rooted in the history of American education, for the system originally developed as college education for the few and manual training for others. As the middle class increased, however, the dichotomy between vocational and academic pursuits increased, to the detriment of vocational education. And in many cases, vocational educators have accepted and internalized the designation of inferiority. If American education is to improve, the war between the factions must stop, and all educators must move toward an integrated system that will better serve all students. (KC)
Descriptors: Academic Education, Back to Basics, Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Improvement, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Quality, Educational Trends, Policy Formation, Postsecondary Education, Public Policy, School Effectiveness, Secondary Education, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nation at Risk (A); United States
Note: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention (New Orleans, LA, December 1, 1984).