Why We Desperately Need to Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools

Agracel1.com – Last week we shared the story of Toyota donating a former laboratory to a local school system to be converted to a high school focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math). This week, we are sharing a great piece that appeared on Forbes.com regarding vocational education. We firmly believe that there is a need for STEAM and vocational studies in our school systems. In fact, after eliminating some vocational classes in years past, two local school systems are exploring ways to bring back some classes. We hope this trend continues.

Why We Desperately Need to Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools
Nicholas Wyman, Forbes contributor

Throughout most of U.S. history, American high school students were routinely taught vocational and job-ready skills along with the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. Indeed, readers of a certain age are likely to have fond memories of huddling over wooden workbenches learning a craft such as woodwork or maybe metal work, or any one of the hands-on projects that characterized the once-ubiquitous shop class.

But in the 1950s, a different philosophy emerged: the theory that students should follow separate educational tracks according to ability. The idea was that the college-bound would take traditional academic courses (Latin, creative writing, science, math) and received no vocational training. Those students not headed for college would take basic academic courses, along with vocational training, or “shop.”

The backlash against tracking, however, did not bring vocational education back to the academic core. Instead, the focus shifted to preparing all students for college, and college prep is still the center of the U.S. high school curriculum.

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Click here to read: A fix for the US School System.