ERIC Number: ED345107
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Work on the Margins: The Experience of Vocational Teachers in Comprehensive Schools.
Little, Judith Warren; Threatt, Susan M.
As experienced by vocational teachers in five California comprehensive high schools, the peripheral nature of vocational education results from two dimensions of school context. First, the purposes and priorities of these comprehensive high schools tend to be ordered in ways that concentrate symbolic acclaim and material resources on academic courses or teachers. An institutional orientation toward the college-bound permeates these schools, diminishing the contributions of vocational and other nonacademic teachers, and reinforcing a long-standing gap between theory and practice and between intellectual and practical endeavors. The main contribution made by vocational teachers is to absorb large numbers of those students who have the greatest difficulty in conventional academic classes. Second, the present configuration of staffing, course offerings, and student placement results in a compressed curriculum that teachers frequently find difficult to defend in terms of preparation for work. The purposes of genuine work education are further compromised as the explicit aims of vocational education are subsumed by other purposes and other dynamics, mostly having to do with responses to academically marginal students. (Appendixes include a list of 33 references and a description of the five public comprehensive high schools that were studied.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Educational Objectives, Enrollment, High Schools, Institutional Environment, Institutional Mission, Needs Assessment, Organizational Objectives, Role of Education, Secondary School Curriculum, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Burnout, Teacher Morale, Teaching Load, Vocational Education, Vocational Education Teachers
NCRVE Materials Distribution Service, Horrabin Hall 46, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (order no. MDS-166: $4.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
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.