ERIC Number: EJ779355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Helping CTE Students Learn to Their Potential
Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J3), v82 n7 p2, 31 Oct 2007
A recent survey of 400 Leading American Corporations by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills notes that managers consider 70 percent of high school graduates lacking professionalism and work ethic skills. A 2005 survey by the American Society for Training and Development reached similar conclusions. Ever since the education secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS 1992), American corporations have been imploring schools to better prepare graduates for the world of work. Along with an obvious need for a solid foundation in SCANS skills such as core academics, the need for good interpersonal and personal skills such as responsibility, self-esteem and integrity were also emphasized. These latter qualities are widely described as "soft" skills because they tend to be tricky to scientifically measure and are believed to be even trickier to somehow attempt to teach. Teachers commonly express frustration with what they perceive to be a widespread lack of emotional intelligence among high school students and wonder to what extent important employability skills can actually be taught. In order to make real progress with students needing to develop transferable employability skills, the students must first be ready to consider the worth of having such skills. The best way to do this is by facilitating student reflections on learning. In fact, career and technical education (CTE) teachers must help their students learn to process a range of human experiences that they will inevitably encounter in the world of work. They need to help students dissect self-limiting thoughts that they may harbor yet rarely fully comprehend. They should help students to identify current work approaches with positive characteristics that are being effectively used by business organizations. One example is appreciative inquiry. With its precepts of collecting instructive work stories and identifying positive organizational results that can be equally applied in the classroom, it represents a new wave of organizational practice that identifies and promotes what is most constructive for increasing both individual and collective earning power.
Descriptors: Employment Potential, Emotional Intelligence, High Schools, Education Work Relationship, Corporations, Work Ethic, Technical Education, Teaching Methods, Job Skills, Interpersonal Competence, Skill Development, Inquiry, Student Attitudes, Career Education, Relevance (Education), Work Attitudes, Student Motivation, Vocational Education Teachers
Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). 1410 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-826-9972; Tel: 703-683-3111; Fax: 703-683-7424; Web site: http://www.acteonline.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Association for Career and Technical Education, Alexandria, VA.