Academic and Vocational Integration


Length: 1992 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Academic and Vocational Integration


The integration of academic and vocational education, mandated through the 1990 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act and supported by the 1994 School-to-Work Opportunities Act, is a concept that has been interpreted and implemented in a variety of ways. As a result, its role in school reform and its effectiveness in modifying curriculum content, teaching practices, and school structure to enhance student preparation for work have become obscured. This Myths and Realities attempts to clarify the importance of academic and vocational integration in relation to emerging pedagogy, teaching and learning practices, and school-to-work efforts.

New Pedagogy and Teaching/Learning Theories Overshadow the Value of Integration

Current research on teaching and learning supports a constructivist pedagogy, which contends that people construct knowledge through their interpretive interactions with and experiences in their social environments. In constructivism, the focus of teaching is on empowering learners to "construct new knowledge" by providing opportunities for them to test academic theories through real-world applications of knowledge in settings that are socially relevant to their lives. Beane (1998) highlights several factors reflecting support of this pedagogy:

1. Growing support for active learning and knowledge construction in place of rote memorization and the accumulation of knowledge constructed by others.

2. Interest in patterns of brain functioning as related to learning.

3. An emerging awareness that knowledge is socially constructed, influenced by ones prior knowledge and social, cultural, and academic experiences.

Student-centered teaching, project-oriented instruction, problem-based learning, and contextual teaching and learning are currently promoted as strategies for implementing constructivism. However, they also reflect the philosophy upon which academic and vocational integration is based: that education must forge connections between knowledge development and its application in the workplace.

In its most basic form, curriculum integration involves the infusion of academic content into vocational programs, often referred to as "enhanced academics." The new vocationalism, however, calls for "enhanced relevance," which is achieved when students engage in learning experiences that are situated in real-life contexts and that afford in-depth understanding and the development of higher-order thinking skills (Pisapia and Riggins 1997; Stasz 1997).

Urquiola et al. (1997) note that curricular integration reflects the process of contextualization by bringing authentic work elements to abstract academic subjects. It contributes to the development of students critical thinking and collaborative skills as well as those that prepare them for skilled jobs. Learning in context and constructing knowledge through socially based experiences are two teaching/learning concepts that draw upon principles of curriculum integration.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Academic and Vocational Integration." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=35955>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Is Vocational Education Working for High-Risk Populations? - Is Vocational Education Working for High-Risk Populations. Any number of vocational education programs have been targeted to solve the education and employment problems of the nations high-risk populations--the dropout prone, persons with disabilities, educationally and economically disadvantaged persons, and so forth. Some have realized successful outcomes; others have not. This publication examines vocational educations role in the success of high-risk populations. Reducing the dropout rate is the most common outcome of vocational education for at-risk populations Although in-school retention is a goal of vocational education programs targeted to at-risk youth, it is not the most signifi...   [tags: Educational education argumentative Essays] 1934 words
(5.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Special Education Schools in Malaysia for Special Children Essays - ... Previously, these educational facilities are only available to children with hearing and visual impairment. Hearing impairment isn’t severe enough for a child to be classified as ‘deaf’ but rather ‘hard of hearing’ the child with a hearing impairment is at a distinct disadvantage in virtually all aspects of language development (Martha Sheridan’s, 2001). It is now been extended to intellectually challenged children at both primary and secondary level of schooling. Implementing inclusive approaches is difficult in special education schools because all of the schools‟ populations are children with SEN....   [tags: deaf, blind, integration] 1836 words
(5.2 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay about Ensure Technical and Academic Rigor of Programs - Ensure Technical and Academic Rigor of Programs Effective career and technical education programs clearly articulate course outcomes and align content with national or state occupational skill standards. These standards, endorsed by business and industry, are designed to prepare students with skills that reflect job market requirements and address all aspects of the industry, not just skills required for single jobs. Curricula developed around these standards offer teachers a variety of strategies for improving standards in their classrooms....   [tags: Curriculum Education Careers Essays]
:: 11 Works Cited
1785 words
(5.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Vocational Education Vs. Standardized Testing Essay - Plenty of schools focus on the scores that come from standardized testing. Though standardized testing is not going to help a student get to where they need to be in order to gain their career. In fact, standardized tests are mainly being used to measure a teacher’s ability to teach (Manalo 1). Why are schools basing their curriculum on standardized test scores rather than teaching vocational education courses that will help students later on in their lives. There are many different vocational courses which include; nursing, food ethics, computer solving, office management, and even cosmetology....   [tags: Vocational Courses]
:: 5 Works Cited
1520 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Importance of Vocational Education Essay - ... Due to this segregation of educational types and values between secondary schools and Vocational schools there was evidence of class and societal inequalities. This is evident in the following statement regarding Vocational education; ‘those whose education does not lend itself to educational treatment (e.g. shop messengers, those whose operations are automatic and require no mental effort)’ (Coolahan, 1984, p.125). Syllabi and courses Technical education was provided in the Vocational school setting which prepared a student for particular employment usually craft and skill based....   [tags: history of technical-vocational schools] 2968 words
(8.5 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
History into Academic and Vocational Education in Europe Essay - History into academic and vocational education Academic qualifications in schools come directly from university entrance examinations. Throughout the 1850s the universities at the period(Oxbridge, London), began setting matriculation tests to qualify applicants for admission. A number of turned to these test as 'school-leaving certificate'. Sensing a business prospect, London University began awards particularly for that intention both 1902 and 1905. Their accomplishment ultimately pressed the government to do something and, in 1917, a Examinations Council for secondary school was set up to control national certificates....   [tags: European History, European Education] 3473 words
(9.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Vocational Education’s Image for the 21st Century - Vocational Education’s Image for the 21st Century These are hard times for secondary vocational education. Leaders of the new school reform movement do not give it high priority. They assume that it is separate from general education, has little educational value, and should be replaced by a predominantly academic curriculum. At best vocational courses are expected to provide students who are not college bound with minimal training for low-status jobs at entry level (Silberman 1986). Ask a vocational educator to name the most serious issues facing the field today, and most will rank "our image problem" high on the list ("What Do People Think of Us?"1997, p....   [tags: Vocational Education Image Essays]
:: 10 Works Cited
1975 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Adding International Perspectives to Vocational Education Essay - Adding International Perspectives to Vocational Education International work opportunities are increasing as the borders of the U.S. economy expand to embrace international markets. Future workers will need to develop global awareness and an understanding of competitive, cultural, and economic factors that influence ways of doing business in order to work in the international arena. This Digest examines the instructional approaches and strategies used in vocational education to prepare students to work in a global environment....   [tags: Vocational Education International Essays]
:: 15 Works Cited
1875 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Curriculum Integration - Curriculum Integration Contrary to popular belief, curriculum integration entails more than simply linking lessons together along a common theme. It is more than just "rearranging existing lesson plans", it is an attempt to organize "curriculum around significant problems and issues…without regard for subject-area boundaries" (Beane, 1997). The goal of curriculum integration is to have students gain a deeper level of understanding across subject areas through interrelated thematic study. Themes are drawn from life "as it is being lived and experienced" with knowledge based around problem solving rather than rote skill acquisition (Beane, 1997)....   [tags: Teaching Education Integration Essays] 614 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Vocational Essay - Vocational A. Calculate break even point on the basis of average guest per week. - Break even = Fixed costs Contribution - Fixed costs = £35,000 + £8,650 = £43,650 - Contribution = Selling price – Variable costs - Selling price = £150 per person - Variable costs = £35 + £3 +£5 + £10 = £53 - Contribution = £150 - £53 = £97 - Break even = £43,650 £97 = 450 guests - This shows that 450 guests are to be held within a 30 week period. Therefore for the charity to break even 15 guest are required each week....   [tags: Business and Management Studies:] 1292 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




When these reformed pedagogical approaches are incorporated in cross-disciplinary, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and work-related integration models, they not only help students to see the connections between subject areas, but enable them to recognize the interrelated aspects of all learning and life experiences (Brown and Pritz, forthcoming).

Integration Is Losing Ground to the Tech-Prep/School-to-Work Movement

In a highly competitive, multicultural workplace, integrated skills and personal qualities are in great demand. Technical innovations have altered the way work is performed and new management processes have changed the way people perform it. School-to-work and tech prep legislation calls for school reforms that will prepare students with the academic, technical, adaptive, and interactive skills they will need in this changing workplace. Rather than being in competition with academic and vocational integration, school-to-work and tech prep programs provide ways to enhance it.

Tech prep, which has a strong applied academic focus, is "grounded in an integrated, authentic, and highly relevant core curriculum" (Pisapia and Riggins 1997, p. 20). As a component of academic and vocational integration, tech prep has the capacity to benefit all students, not only those enrolled in tech prep programs, linking them to postsecondary educational opportunities. School-to-work efforts extend integration beyond subject area connections to include workplace experiences that afford social integration as well. School-based and work-based learning, two examples of such efforts, offer educators an opportunity to connect classrooms to workplaces by increasing "students exposure to authentic work practices that provide opportunities to apply abstract concepts or knowledge to real problems" (Stasz 1997, p. 218).

School-based learning gives students an opportunity to use academics in authentic workplace contexts through such means as applied academics. It can include "training on the job, supervision by workplace mentors, and instruction in general workplace competencies and all aspects of the industry" (Stasz and Kaganoff 1997, p. v). Work-based learning, which engages students in worksite learning experiences, is an expanded academic and vocational integration activity that affords students an opportunity to receive mentoring and instruction for industry-recognized skills (Pisapia and Riggins 1997). Each of these practices offers the potential for students to engage in problem solving, teamwork, and communication within the job context, taking into account the unique aspects of the jobs purpose, work tasks, organizational structure, job culture, and so forth (Stasz and Kaganoff 1997).

The concept of curriculum integration offered by Beane (1998) illustrates the potential for academic and vocational education to connect students to all aspects of the workplace: "As it is meant to be, curriculum integration involves four major aspects: the integration of experiences, social integration, the integration of knowledge, and integration as a curriculum design" (p. 5). In Beanes explanation, integration as a curriculum design has several features: problems and issues of personal and social significance guide curriculum; learning experiences are designed to integrate knowledge in context of its use; knowledge is developed and used to address relevant issues, not in preparation for future tests; and learning activities involve the application of knowledge in real-life settings where students can experience problem solving and the intricacies of social interaction.

To be able to implement curriculum integration in the classroom, teachers and other school personnel require continuing education and skill development. In Floridas Indian River Community College, faculty have been able to use funds from school-to-work and tech prep legislation, along with money from the state general education fund, to attend conferences on integration, which has led to improved communication and collaboration across the different disciplines in the general education area ("In Florida" 1997, p. 38). Teacher externships, also supported through school reform legislation, afford teachers opportunities to learn how academic and vocational concepts are applied on the job and ways that they might tie their curriculum to the broader social purposes of the community. Externship programs also benefit employers, giving them opportunities to provide educators with input regarding the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they expect of their employees and, thereby, guide curriculum (Bidwell 1997).

Coordinated Academic and Industry Standards Drive Integration

Although there is considerable interest in curriculum integration, academic and industry skills standards are typically developed in isolation from each other (Bailey 1997). Academic assessments tend to focus on subject matter knowledge, often tested through multiple-choice and true/false test items, with little demand for the real-world application of knowledge. Vocational education assessments have traditionally focused on the demonstration of technical skills identified by the industry. However, with the recent movement toward contextual learning and curriculum integration as means of preparing students for meaningful employment, the need for integrated skills that cross disciplines and can be transferred across jobs is becoming more apparent.

The skills identified by the Secretarys Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills and their expansion in the New Standards Project have brought focus to the kind of preparation needed for the workplace and citizenship (Resnick and Wirt 1996). Generic in nature, these skills are especially appealing to employers who must satisfy any number of customers and do so in an economically proficient manner. "Todays high performance workplace calls for persons. . . able to analyze a situation, make reasoned judgments, communicate well, engage with others and reason through differences of opinions, and intelligently employ the complex tools and technologies that liberate or enslave according to use" (ibid., p. 10).

Attention to generic transferable skills is consistent with vocational educations continued interest in preparing students for the expectations of the workplace. However, as Bailey (1997) suggests, "ultimately generic standards will be meaningful only to the extent that they can be assessed so both academic and industry groups have a large stake in the success of those efforts" (p. v). Academic skills must reflect not only a persons ability to know, but his/her ability to relate learning to work applications. Their measurement must be related to industry standards and include a differentiation among those standards for various levels of jobs, e.g., those for entry-level jobs and those for higher-level jobs in the same field. "Ideally, industry skill standards should be able to refer explicitly to appropriate academic standards" (ibid).

The Ohio Department of Education is moving toward the development of a coordinated set of competencies directly linked to academic, employability, and occupational standards, building upon its Occupational Competency Analysis Profiles, which specify the competencies required for entry-level positions in specific industries or occupations, and its Tech Prep Competency Profiles, which identify the skills required in high technology occupations. In its effort to connect these competencies and integrate them with academic competencies, Ohio is developing the Career-Focused Education for Ohios Students model, which combines three types of Integrated Technical and Academic Competencies (ITACs): core, cluster, and specialized.

These ITACs use sample scenarios to create a workplace context in which students engage in solving problems or performing tasks to demonstrate knowledge and skills in context (Ohio Department of Education, forthcoming). The purposes of the scenarios are to illustrate the workplace context for which a particular strand of competencies are important, to demonstrate opportunities for integrated learning of both technical and academic competencies, and to set the stage for the development of instructional plans that engage students in active learning.

Ohios enhanced curriculum model, which is intended to expand students options for achieving career and educational goals, is one example that a movement toward the adoption of coordinated academic and vocational standards is underway. With coordinated standards, a contextualized constructivist foundation, and the work and learning connections of tech prep and school-to-work, the integration of academic and vocational education can remain focused and effective.

References

Bailey, T. R. Integrating Academic and Industry Skill Standards. Berkeley: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, 1997. (ED 413 472)

Beane, J. A. Curriculum Integration. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998.

Bidwell, S. E. Helping Teachers Connect Academics to the Workplace: An Implementation Guide for Teacher Worksite Externships. Columbus: Vocational Instructional Materials Laboratory, Center on Education and Training for Employment, The Ohio State University, 1997. (ED 411 439)

Brown, B. L., and Pritz, S. G. Teaching and Assessment Perspectives. Columbus: Division of Vocational and Adult, Education Ohio Department of Education, forthcoming.

Fitzgerald, J., and Bass, J. "The Frontline of Reform: Teachers as Implementors of School-to-Work." Educational Forum 61, no. 4 (Summer 1997): 336-342.

"In Florida, Walking the Talk." Techniques 72, no. 2 (February 1997): 38.

Ohio Department of Education. Integrated Technical and Academic Competencies. Columbus: Ohio Department of Education, forthcoming.

Pisapia, J., and Riggins, E. The Integration of Academic and Vocational Education. System Design. Richmond, VA: Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, 1997. (ED 404 440)

Resnick, L. B., and Wirt, J. G., eds. Linking School and Work: Roles for Standards and Assessment. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1996. (ED 389 915)

Stasz, C. "Do Employers Need the Skills They Want? Evidence from Technical Work." Journal of Education and Work 10, no. 3 (1997): 205-223.

Stasz, C., and Kaganoff, T. Learning How to Learn at Work: Lessons from Three High School Programs. Berkeley: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, 1997. (ED 414 472)

Urquiola, M.; Stern, D.; Horn, I.; Dornsife, C.; Chi, B.; Williams, L.; Merritt, D.; Hughes, K.; and Bailey, T. School to Work, College and Career: A Review of Policy, Practice, and Results 1993-1997. Berkeley: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, 1997. (ED 413 542)

Developed with funding from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Library of Education U.S. Department of Education, under Contract No. RR93002001. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the position or policies of OERI or the Department. Myths and Realities may be freely reproduced.


Return to 123HelpMe.com