Vocational high schools offer vocational education, where the trainees are prepared for job opportunities. This training is non-academic and very specific to a job. The instructional workshops offer this training in vocational high schools. However, politics and the need to control vocational education have affected the functions of vocational training institutions (Kliebard, 1999). Instructional workshops lack amalgamation between vocational and academic education. Vocational education system has put in place a structure where the poor students are secluded into programs offering shallow skills. This will prevent them from participating in democracy (Grubb, 1997).
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The level of training in vocational workshops lack academic skills. In the 21st century, education is paramount and non-stop; the certificates play a major role in one’s carrier (Jacobs & Grubb, 2003). There have been calls for reforms in the vocational education on the need of bridging a gap between secondary institutions, tertiary institutions and workplace. This will sustain the integration of the vocational and academic education (chappell, 2003).
There is a rapid change in the place of work. Vocational training is not adjusting to these changes fast enough. It lacks economical and technological literacy training which is very relevant in the rapidly changing work environment (Oakes, 1986).
The current vocational training programs are classroom based with minimum out of class lessons. This limits the exposure levels of the students. The students will understand the practicability of what they are learning if they are offered lessons at work place (Senge, et. al., 1999). If a student is offered work-based training, his experience will have a well-built intellectual constituent.
Shop classes have been eradicated in most schools due to the budgetary cut-down. Those schools that still offer such courses, they minimize on practicals. The lack of practicals in shop classes has rendered its teaching and application almost impossible. There is a decline in the level of skills in the shop classes. Students are in most cases taught what those instrumentations are rather than being shown how they work, at a high level of vocational high school. The advancement of social networking has kept the students so occupied that they do not care about anything in shop classes. These means develop a generation with no mechanical skills, this spells doom for most industries future. Fitch & Crunkilton suggested that when criterion-references are used to gauge task, then behaviorism of an individual is operating (1999).
High school vocational training emphasizes on theory rather than experience. Experience can only be gathered through practice of authentic tasks. Intrinsic motivation is a requisite of proper learning. When a student is only evaluated by the teacher in classroom, then there is no intrinsic motivation. An activity where information is developed cannot be separated from cognition and knowledge (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989).
The current learning environment has minimum student learning opportunities. The lack of deployed informal communities in work environment for learning is what affects learning of the students. Vocational educators have used outmoded practices for long. This limits the possibility of creation of new knowledge by the student. Most of these vocational educational centers have no specific training for special educational students. Most of these centers still operate with unrevised curriculum that can accommodate people with special needs (Kliebard, 1999). In conclusion, the above information is enormous enough to dictate detailed research into this problem.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., and Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18, 32-42.
Chappell, C. (2003). Researching vocational education and training: Where to from here? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 55(1), 21-32.
Fitch, C. R. and Crunkilton, J. R. (1999). Curriculum development in vocational and technical education: Planning content and implementation (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Grubb, W. N. (1997). Not there yet: Prospects and problems for “education through occupations”. Journal of Vocational Education Research, 22(2), 133-139.
Jacobs, J., and Grubb, W. N. (2003). The federal role in vocational–technical education. Community College Research Center, 18(1).
Kliebard, H. M. (1999). Schooled to work: Vocationalism and the American curriculum. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Oakes, J. (1986). Beyond tinkering: Reconstructing vocational education. In Copa, G., Plihal, J., & Johnson, M., eds. (1986). Re-visioning vocational education in the secondary school. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Research and Development Center for Vocational Education.
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Senge, P., Kleiner, A., Roberts, C., Ross, R., Roth, G., & Smith, B. (1999). The dance of change: The challenges to sustaining momentum in learning organizations. New York, NY: Doubleday.