How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socioeconomic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education

How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socioeconomic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education

How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socioeconomic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education

How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socioeconomic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education

Synopsis

This foundational text makes use of advances in cognition & social theory to demonstrate how & why schools & teachers must reorient traditional approaches to vocational education. The book serves as a main text or as supplementary reading in teacher training courses & will be a valuable sourcebook for administrators & education scholars. Contents: Foreword, Fred Schied. THE NATURE OF WORK. A Sense of Purpose. Modernism & the Evolution of the Technocratic Mind. Power & the Development of the Modernist Economy. Good Work, Bad Work, & the Debate over Ethical Labor. THE HISTORICAL DIMENSIONS OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION. The Origins of Vocational Education. The Progressive Debate, the Victory of Vocationalism, & the Institutionalization of Schooling for Work. Failures & Reforms: The Recent History of Vocational Education. COPING WITH & DIRECTING CHANGE. Post-Fordism & Technopower: The Changing Economic & Political Arena. Democratic Post-Fordist Workplaces & Debating the Changing Purposes of Vocational Education. Confronting & Rethinking Educational Theory: Critical Vocational Pedagogy & Workers as Researchers. RACE, CLASS, & GENDER. Plausible Deniability: The Skeleton in Vocational Education's Closet. A Touch of Class. Accounting for Gender. Howlin' Wolf at the Door: Race, Racism, & Vocational Education. THE ROLE OF LABOR & UNIONS IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION. Democratic Unionism in the Global Economy & Corporate-Directed Vocational Education. The New Unionism & the Struggle for a Democratic Social Movement. A VISION OF GOVERNMENT, VOCATIONAL EDUCATION, & THE FUTURE. Worker Civics: The Decline of the Nation-State & the Rise of Corporate Government. A Reconceptualized Government for the Twenty-First Century.

Excerpt

How Do We Tell the Workers? is an appropriate title for this book because education, with its central vocational function, whether consciously or not, has always been grounded on this question. The dilemma we now face involves how to tell workers about the workplace they will enter in the twenty-first century--a workplace with its downsizing, its profits being generated at the expense of workers' financial well-being, and its demand that workers compete with low-paid laborers around the world. How do vocational educators, progressives, and labor leaders tell workers about the stressful and difficult conditions they will inevitably face? With these issues at the forefront, this book is designed to help vocational educators and labor educators from various domains make sense of the social, economic, cultural, political, and educational world that shapes work, work education, and worker consciousness at the end of the twentieth century. This effort is contextualized within a vision of "what could be"--the special role that vocational education can play in the larger effort to make work a source of joy, satisfaction, respect, and financial reward.

In this context, How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socioeconomic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education becomes in a sense a worker civics-- a citizenship book for workers, union members, cultural workers, and educators. A rigorous understanding of work and its context is essential knowledge for such individuals in an era where noncorporate-filtered information has become harder and harder for citizens to obtain. It is certainly not provided on television by the major networks or CNN or by mainstream newspapers and magazines. In response to the August 1997 teamsters' strike against United Parcel Service (UPS), "America's newspaper," USA Today, wrote of its inability to understand the strikers' motives. Arguing that increasing the number of part-time workers only made practical business sense, the editors of the newspaper dismissed the concerns of employees working two or three jobs without benefits. To provide such workers with full-time jobs would make the company less efficient and should therefore be rejected as a solution, they concluded (Jackson, 1997). Such reporting is typical of the mainstream press's coverage of labor issues. The message . . .

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