Analyzing Problems in Schools and School Systems: A Theoretical Approach

By Alan Kibbe Gaynor | Go to book overview

12
School to Work: An Analysis of Vocational Education as Provided by Greater Stanton Technical School*

Allen Scheier


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Vocational education in an organized form has existed in this country since the early part of the 20th century. The theory behind vocational education is that public schools can and should prepare students to enter the work force. It recognizes the fact that not all students are capable of or interested in pursuing a college education. Since the Industrial Revolution, a demand has always existed for skilled and semiskilled workers. For many years, vocational education has played an integral role in meeting this demand.

Greater Stanton Technical School has been providing students from the Greater Stanton area with a vocational and academic education since 1965. In recent years, however, very few of Greater Stanton's graduates are found working in jobs that relate to their vocational training. This represents a problem.

There are a number of possible reasons why graduates of Greater Stanton are choosing not to enter the trade they have studied. This analysis points to two primary reasons why this is happening. The first reason is that students enrolled in vocational education programs must choose a trade before they are prepared to do so. The second reason revolves around the role of human capital theory in the changing global economy. On the basis of these two causes, recommendations may be formulated to address this problem. These recommendations apply not only to

____________________
*
This chapter was originally submitted as a term paper for the Advanced Policy Seminar, Department of Administration, Training and Policy Studies, School of Education, Boston University, Fall 1996. Names have been altered to protect the identities of the school and key participants.

-137-

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