ERIC Number: ED181848
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The College Curriculum and the Marketplace. Academic Disciplines and the Trend Toward Vocationalism in the 1970s. Yale Higher Education Research Group Working Paper.
Geiger, Roger L.
What is taught, what is learned, and how they relate to graduate employment are examined in an effort to interpret the trend toward vocationalism within higher education institutions. It is suggested that tightening of the graduate labor market inaugurated an accelerating trend toward vocationalism that has contributed to a deterioration of academic values and a demoralization of college faculty. The teaching responsibilities of colleges are discussed and divided into general knowledge, disciplinary knowledge, and instrumental knowledge. Instrumental knowledge is described as practical or vocational instruction. A general trend away from disciplinary majors in favor of the instrumental subjects is discussed. The values and outcomes of general, disciplinary, and instrumental education are explored and it is concluded from the research that the large increase in instrumental graduates does not represent a better articulation of education and employment, nor does it constitute a productive social investment. Therefore it is suggested that the traditional mission of American undergraduate education--disinterested learning for cultural enrichment and intellectual development--now appears in danger of being displaced by vocational programs of dubious value. (Author/SF)
Descriptors: Careers, College Curriculum, College Graduates, College Role, Curriculum Design, Education Work Relationship, Educational History, Educational Quality, Higher Education, Intellectual Disciplines, Liberal Arts, Relevance (Education), Specialization, Trend Analysis, Values, Vocational Education
Higher Education Research Group, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University, 1732 Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Authoring Institution: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT. Inst. for Social and Policy Studies.