ERIC Number: ED265353
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Dec-8
Reference Count: 0
Historical Inquiry in Vocational Education.
Lakes, Richard D.
Few dissertations on vocational educational history are being written by graduate students. Reasons for this paucity of research include: (1) few opportunities exist for employment in the foundations of education field; and (2) few mentorships are availabile for those with training in both historical methods and vocational education fields. The history of vocational education has had various trends. Early 20th-century educators propagated the myth of a universal mandate for public schools. These historians tended to ignore the social and class struggles that were a part of early public education and are essential to an understanding of it. Some early educators recognized public schooling as a ladder for social mobility. The post-World War II educational historians broadened the scope of educational history. They often fell into the class of reform liberalism. Later, revisionist historians sought a different set of motives for early school reformers. They believed that vocational education was shaped by the model of efficiency advocated by industry, and that education was made to be "efficient." Vocational education was seen as keeping the lower classes in their place. Vocational education history has been largely hortatory in approach, seeking to advance its own cause. Instead of a top-down approach, however, a bottom-up approach is needed, and is being provided today by a few scholars who are doing case studies, looking at limited areas, and trying to discover what vocational education has done for former students, rather than what educators have said vocational education should do. More of this small-scale type of research is needed to paint a clearer picture of vocational education history. (KC)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Educational History, Educational Philosophy, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Researchers, Educational Theories, Foundations of Education, Historiography, Postsecondary Education, Research Methodology, Research Projects, Secondary Education, Social Science Research, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Vocational Association (Atlanta, GA, December 6-10, 1985).