ERIC Number: ED433454
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Integrating Academic and Vocational Curriculum--Why Is Theory So Hard To Practice?
Centerpoint, n7 Sep 1999
Integration of academic and vocational curricula is missing from most American classrooms because integration that is rigorous, authentic, and sustained is much more difficult than most advocates imagine. The difficulty arises because teachers must do the following: keep integration sharply focused on clear, well-defined educational objectives; find legitimate applications that really excite students; and be able to meet the demands of time, expertise, and resources that are beyond the reach of most teachers. Academic and vocational curriculum should be integrated to increase student achievement, especially for those students who have not fared well in the traditional curriculum, and to benefit all students. Whatever form integration takes, it should begin by clearly specifying the educational goals: clearly targeted, well-defined educational objectives; use of academic and industry skill standards to direct integrated learning; and teachers who remain focused on primary learning objectives, so that any decisions to temporarily diverge from these aims are made consciously, explicitly, and with a better understanding of the costs of the benefits. Requiring increasing degrees of planning, coordination, and commitment, the four different forms of integration for teachers to consider are as follows: course-level integration, cross-curriculum integration, programmatic integration through career clusters and industry majors, and schoolwide integration, such as academies and other models. (Contains 25 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; 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.