Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Seizing Opportunities

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Seizing Opportunities

Article excerpt

To borrow from Dickens, "These are the best of times and the worst of times" for our profession.

The good news is the current innovation and development going on in technology education. Few of us can remember a curriculum with such depth and breadth. It is a time of innovation, integration with other disciplines and experimentation in the many unique facets of a society brimming with technological advances.

At the same time we have never experienced a more difficult period in our history in teacher education. We have reached a point where many states no longer have a technology teacher education program within their boundaries, and at the same time the demand for teachers is at an all-time high. We are rapidly reaching a period when alternative programs and credentialing will become the solution to the teacher shortage.

Technology educators also have the opportunity to be in the absolute forefront of innovations such as tech prep and integrated academics. Teaching methods that permit students to work in teams, seek problem-solving opportunities and apply the principles of science, mathematics and English always have been a mainstay of technology education.

Laboratories provide an environment in which students can use the latest equipment common to the technological world. Computers are an integral part of every facet of the working world and increasingly an essential ingredient in the home/learning environment.

Ken Martin of South Vigo High School (3737 South 7th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47802) is one of those teachers who understood the call for reform and saw the opportunity of tech prep. The program developed by Martin and his colleagues, "integrated academics and technology education," has become a model. This integration of curriculum is based on thematic concepts such as flexible machine systems, health careers, career planning portfolio, English/applied communications, radio-television broadcasting and spring fashion production.

STRATEGIC PLANNING. Rodney Custer, chair of committees for the Technology Education Division, has been part of the driving force to bring about a new plan to replace the one approved in 1989. At a convention planning session in Washington, D.C., in March, the executive committee made tremendous strides in getting the planning process under way. …

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