ERIC Number: ED333203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
From Useful Knowledge to Vocational Education 1860-1930. Conference Paper No. 11.
Kett, Joseph F.
The history of vocational education in the United States from 1860-1930 is seen from a different perspective than that in existing accounts of the rise of mass vocational education. In this perspective, vocational education is defined broadly as encompassing professional training, including training for professions that emerged in that era (such as accounting), and evening and extension classes of colleges and universities. Although most advocates of vocational education in the public schools focused on "industrial" education--education for factory work--the demand for commerce-oriented vocational courses exceeded that for industrial courses. A major role was played by proprietary (profit venture) schools, especially correspondence schools, which enrolled an astounding number of students during this period. The majority of students who took vocational courses between 1890 and 1930 did so not as teenagers in public high schools but as adults who had already commenced their working careers. During this time, however, prominent educators such as John Dewey called for a kind of vocational education relating job skills and underlying sciences, aimed at preparation for a mobile career, and taking place in full-time institutions. Starting in the 1920s and continuing into the 1930s, the model of full-time, school-based vocational training began to replace prior models of evening classes. (103 reference notes) (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Education and Employment, New York, NY.
Note: Paper presented at the Conference, "Education and the Economy: Hard Questions, Hard Answers" (Brewster, MA, September 5-7, 1989).