ERIC Number: ED315516
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Closing the Gap between Vocational and Academic Education.
Bottoms, James E.
An examination of the reasons for the gap between academic and vocational courses of study in secondary schools showed problems in the basic competencies of vocational completers and proposed strategies for improving them. The following issues were identified: (1) presently, there is no such thing as a vocational program of studies in the average U.S. high school; (2) vocational students experience different academic course content and lower expectations are held for them than for other students; (3) legislated minimum competencies tend to become maximum goals for vocational students; (4) the purposes of vocational education are too narrowly defined; (5) the policy structure for vocational education is weak at the local level; and (6) closing the gap between academic and vocational education will require considerable staff development. Strategies for improving the basic competencies of vocational completers include the following: (1) stressing basic competencies in vocational classrooms; (2) encouraging and requiring students pursuing vocational studies to complete higher-level academic courses; (3) raising expectations for vocational completers; (4) revising state and local policies for secondary vocational education; (5) providing students access to new academic courses; (6) using a program of study approach to connect vocational and academic studies; and (7) providing preservice and inservice preparation and certification of vocational and nonvocational teachers. State policy initiatives are needed to give leadership and direction to vocational education. (KC)
Descriptors: Academic Education, Competency Based Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Improvement, Educational Needs, Educational Planning, Government Role, Integrated Curriculum, Program Improvement, Secondary Education, Statewide Planning, Teacher Certification, Teacher Education, Vocational Education, Vocational Education Teachers
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Assessment of Vocational Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see ED 283 020, ED 290 881, ED 299 412, ED 297 150, CE 053 752-774, and CE 053 783-797.