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The reasons behind poor training among vocational teachers Dissertation

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Updated: Dec 15th, 2019


The word vocation is mostly used to refer to the process where individuals are prepared for professional work in the global labor market. Vocational training is a specialized form of training because those undertaking it are only taken through selected areas study. Therefore, vocational training aims at improving the living standards of those undertaking it.

Others define this form of training as education for work since its major objective is to allow an individual to join a profession but not to equip him or her with necessary skills. It is differentiated from education for life since it does not give people adequate knowledge that characterizes certain professions. This article aims at analyzing the reasons behind poor training among vocational teachers, which leads to underperformance.

Overview of Vocational Education in the US

The secondary school vocational structure is multifaceted. Modern research points out that almost every American high school apprentice takes at least one vocational lesson. One-half of all learners go through four or more vocational classes and there is roughly no dissimilarity in the number of vocational course credits undertaken by learners in various ethnic and cultural groups (Petty, 2009).

Additionally, those students aiming at joining various colleges go through an approximated one half-half of all vocational credits. There is an emerging trend that all learners, including vocational students, require educational expertise that would help them function industriously after school. The interest to evaluate vocational programs crops up at a time when society is keen on improving economic performance.

Correlation between educational system and the outlook of the American financial system is now important to the success of the country. One expression of concern for excellence of vocational programs has been the use of outcome measures, as pointers of program efficiency. The use of performance principles based on results in other Federal programs, particularly those related to employment, for instance the Job Training Partnership law, has encouraged several analysts to demand for a similar policy in vocational system of training.

As Ofsted (2009) observed, the deliverance of vocational teaching is erratic in quality. Therefore, it is observed that vocational teaching and education is pedestrian. In this case, more emphasis is to be put in order to ensure students’ requirements are convened. This could be achieved through introducing appropriate teaching techniques. In this regard, it is true that vocational teachers are unable to meet the needs of students because of the poor teaching strategies witnessed in the vocational educational system.

How Vocational Teachers Lack Special Training

Vocational training has proved ineffective since service providers in the sector have questionable records. Most of the facilities used by the service providers do not meet the standards recommended by the national agency in charge of education. From this perspective, vocational teachers are expected to be impulsive since the learning facilities are rarely maintained.

In the field, vocational teachers are unable to use some of the latest technologies since they were not taken through such expertise in their training.. Vocational system of education is concerned with quantity but not quality. Therefore, technical institutions strive to meet the demands of the market, by training many teachers to tackle the shortages experienced in the economy. In this sense, they cannot be able to impart adequate skills to students.

Research shows that vocational teachers rarely go through evaluation. Evaluation is very important, as it sharpens the wits of employees. Those graduating from colleges and universities are usually taken through vigorous assessment exercise before they are allowed to enter any classroom.

In-service training has never been provided to vocational trainees. Programs in the vocational system of education rarely receive approval from the agency in charge of education. It is doubtful whether those designing vocational training programs are knowledgeable. Those introducing vocational programs do not consider the relevance of such programs to the careers of students because they are meant to help people earn a living.

In real sense, the programs must be related to the needs of students and those of the universities. Under normal circumstances, teachers are exposed to teaching practice before they are allowed to offer their services. This is not the case with vocational teachers since they would simply switch from their positions to teaching. Such teachers would not have gone through adequate evaluation procedure. This results to ineffectiveness. All these are some of the issues that render vocational teachers incompetent.

The problems facing vocational teachers, ranging from underperformance to poor treatment in society, is a result of poor societal perception. There is a general lethargy in society expressed towards those undertaking their studies at an old age. Such an attitude affects the program right from the designing stage to the implementation stage.

The program is poorly funded since many people are always against it. Generally, teaching has never been appreciated as a well-paying profession in society. Vocational education experiences many problems because most teachers have no time to take students through detailed coursework activities. This is largely attributed to the policies related to vocational training in various countries.

Technology has completely changed everything in the world, including education. Each person must acquaint him or herself with technology if he or she is to survive in the globalizing world. In this regard, vocational teachers ought to be introduced to seminars, workshops, conferences, and other school related programs for them to be at par with technology. In the 21st century, anyone who does not comply with the requirements of technology would be caught unaware (Weeden, Winter, & Broadfoot, 2002).

Governments of various states do not fund programs related to vocational education. Some private organizations take advantage of the loopholes to exploit the public. Due to the higher costs, vocational teachers do not attend the seminars and workshops. Definitely, they are expected to underperform in class as compared to their counterparts from universities. Another problem facing vocational teachers is the school system.

The school system has not been approving and extrapolating a good image of vocational education. For instance, a number of school administrators have been advocating for the merging or harmonization of courses undertaken by vocational trainees (Stevenson, 2005). School heads do not want to incur the extra cost of hiring new lecturers who would operate on full-time basis.

In this case, vocational trainees are forced to depend on secondary sources instead of acquiring accurate information from their teachers. Upon graduation, such teachers cannot offer quality services since they received low quality training. Some scholars have conducted extensive research and concluded that two courses can never be the same. Therefore, advocating for the merging of two courses without coming up with some modalities to regulate the merger is unwarranted.

The Type of Education Possessed by Vocational Teachers

In a study conducted by Custer and Panagos in 1996 in Pennsylvania, people commented that vocational teachers had diminutive level of education. However, they had high levels of confidence implying they were willing to undertake further training if provided with facilities. The kind of training possessed by vocational teachers does not aim at augmenting the academic standards of students. The study incorporated twenty vocational schools.

The research question of the study related the perception of educators to vocational teachers. The kind of education offered to vocational teachers is often imprudent. Vocational teachers are poorly prepared meaning that they lack adequate skills needed in improving the performance of students in class.

Vocational teachers are drawn from trade and industry sector, not the education sector. As such, they do not possess the relevant skills that could be compared to those of graduates who undergo a four-year degree program. Those with degrees are usually exposed to coursework activities such as writing research papers through designated methodologies. Moreover, those with degrees have specific teaching strategies gained through years of research and practice (Greene, Albright, Kokaska, & Beacham-Greene, 1991).


The major aim of vocational training is to generate adequate workforce. It aims at increasing the number of teachers but not improving the quality. Therefore, more needs to be done in order to improve the standards of vocational training. It is true that vocational teachers are ill equipped to mentor students.

The unfortunate condition of vocational teachers is caused by defective policies in the education sector. Researchers and policy makers in the education sector suggest that vocational teachers need to undergo additional training through seminars, conferences, and workshops. The higher cost of training is an impediment to the success of vocational teachers in the US, as well as in other parts of the world.


Greene, G., Albright, L., Kokaska, C., & Beacham-Greene, C. (1991). Instructional strategies for special needs in integrated vocational education settings. Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, 13(2), 13-17.

Ofsted, R. (2009). Common Inspection Framework for Further Education and Skills. Manchester: Ofsted

Petty, G. (2009). Evidence-Based Teaching: A Practical Approach (2nd ed.). Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Stevenson, J. (2005). The Centrality of Vocational Learning. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 57(3), 335–354.

Weeden, P., Winter J., & Broadfoot, P. (2002). Assessment: What is in it for Schools? London: Routledge.

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