ERIC Number: ED374347
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
The Impact of High School Vocational Education: A Review with Recommendations for Improvement.
Research shows that the labor market payoff to vocational education in high school is quite large when graduates work in the occupation for which they trained. Less than one-third of those who learn occupationally specific skills get training-related jobs. The occupationally specific skills learned are seldom used on a job due to lack of emphasis on placement, insufficient involvement of employers, and training for jobs not in demand. High school vocational education has no significant positive or negative effects on the noneconomic aspects of schooling. Vocational education lowers dropout rates, but not dramatically. Basic skills cannot substitute for occupational skills. Skill obsolescence is less important than the risk of not using and forgetting skills. Studying occupationally specific skills does not necessarily lower academic achievement if nonrigorous academic courses are sacrificed. Most occupationally specific skills are best taught on the job. For vocational educators, the five most important policy implications are as follows: taking responsibility for and giving priority to graduate placement; involving employers more directly in vocational education delivery; ensuring that a well-informed career choice precedes entry into intensive occupational training; offering training in occupations for which there is substantial employer demand; and establishing a system whereby the school vouches for its students' accomplishments. (Appendixes include 23 footnotes and 46 references). (YLB)
Descriptors: Career Counseling, Cooperative Education, Demand Occupations, Dropout Prevention, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Educational Improvement, Educational Research, High Schools, Job Placement, Job Search Methods, Job Skills, Literature Reviews, School Business Relationship, School Role, Secondary School Curriculum, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.