ERIC Number: ED314642
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Reforming Education for Work: A Cognitive Science Perspective.
Raizen, Senta A.
Over the past decade, research by cognitive scientists has been building a clearer understanding of how people learn in school and out. A review of the various streams of cognitive research has implications for vocational education. Research has determined characteristics of effective workers and how people become effective workers. Some highlights of this research are that (1) the usual teaching of skill hierarchies is seldom effective in educating and training for work; (2) people build workplace expertise through the opportunity to participate, under the training of experts, in physical and intellectual tasks specific to a particular work setting; (3) the abstract thinking skills required in many technical jobs today are learned effectively through a combination of practice and explicit teaching in a meaningful context; and (4) impediments to providing the opportunity to participate in meaningful work experiences include the increasing emphasis on school-based, formal education, the insistence on sequential learning of skill hierarchies and general reasoning skills without application to practice, and the increasing complexity of jobs, which makes craft-style apprenticeship ineffective. To improve education for work, vocational education needs to integrate learning of basic skills with learning of specific work setting skills, to provide education for work in replications of work situations, and to recognize the relationship between healthy families, schools that educate, and productive workplaces. Over 100 references are cited and a list of 20 researchers consulted is appended. (KC)
Descriptors: Apprenticeships, Basic Skills, Cognitive Development, Education Work Relationship, Educational Improvement, Educational Needs, Entry Workers, Experiential Learning, Learning Processes, Postsecondary Education, Problem Solving, Research Reports, School Business Relationship, School Effectiveness, Secondary Education, Vocational Education, Workplace Literacy
National Center for Research in Vocational Education Materials Distribution Service, Western Illinois University, 46 Horrabin Hall, Macomb, IL 61455 (Order No. MDS-024: $6.25).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.