ERIC Number: ED361050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar-19
Should Technical Education Be More Liberal?
Heckman, Richard T.
Due to the increasing emphasis on technology and the trend toward downsizing and multiculturalism in today's workplace, graduates of technical education programs need non-technical thinking and problem solving skills to stay successfully employed. Historically, however, a dichotomy has existed between vocational and liberal education, which has limited the technical education curriculum to imparting specific job skills. In order to best fulfill employer and employee needs, a new curriculum design is needed which utilizes both sociological and systems theory perspectives to understand the interplay between the curriculum and society. This new curriculum should take into account the desired technical and non-technical student outcomes and fuse liberal arts with technical education in the limited associate degree time-frame. In a model approach, faculty should first develop a general education core designed to improve students' creative and critical thinking, communication skills, and understanding of the world around them. The technical curriculum should then be constructed to further improve student problem solving and interpersonal skills and to develop a proficiency in their technical field. Finally, the two parts should be integrated into a student-centered, outcomes-based system designed to address declarative and procedural knowledge within an applied context and enable students to develop the physical and conceptual tools necessary to link them. (Contains 14 references.) (MAB)
Descriptors: Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Education Work Relationship, Educational Innovation, Educational Strategies, Educational Theories, General Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Liberal Arts, Relevance (Education), Role of Education, Sociocultural Patterns, Systems Approach, Technical Institutes, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Technical Education of the American Technical Education Association (30th, San Diego, CA, March 18-21, 1993).