ERIC Number: ED214896
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Limiting Opportunity: Student Race and Curricular Differences in Secondary Vocational Education. A Study of Schooling in the United States. Technical Report Series, No. 28.
The relationship between secondary school students' socioeconomic status and ethnicity and their participation in vocational education programs was examined. Analysis of data from 25 secondary schools focused on three questions concerning: (1) the emphasis on vocational programs in non-white, ethnically or racially mixed, and white secondary schools; (2) percentage of non-white students in vocational education courses; and (3) the substance of vocational programs at non-white, mixed, and white schools. Each school's vocational program was described in terms of the teacher resources allocated to it, the content and format of courses, and the race/ethnicity of students taking the courses. Data analysis indicated that white and non-white students participated in fairly equivalent ways in vocational education. Non-white schools and mixed schools were not more vocational in nature than were white schools. Non-white students in mixed schools did not appear to be consistently enrolled in disproportionate numbers in vocational programs. However, a substantive difference emerged in the content of vocational courses offered to white and non-white students. It appeared that socioeconomic status was associated with differences in the types of programs offered. Non-whites and poor whites were being directed in their vocational training toward futures in lower-class social and economic positions. Vocational skills taught to middle and upper class white students were regarded as useful regardless of occupational status. Business courses offered to whites emphasized managerial and financial skills. Those offered to non-white and poor students taught clerical or retail skills. It is hypothesized that vocational education plays a role in reinforcing the low economic and social position of non-whites in American society. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute for Development of Educational Activities, Dayton, OH.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Graduate School of Education