No discipline has had the impact on Western education in the last fifty years that economics has. Not only have the aims of education been narrowed to focus more on preparing people for their economic role, but the schooling system itself has been reorganized to reflect this way of thinking about the world. Economists Randall Nielsen and Janice Kinghorn here provide an immanent critique; that is, they challenge the above from within, more particularly from within the field of economic development. They explain that the assumptions of growth accounting that created earlier models of economic development (and current schooling) have generally failed on their own terms: their thin conceptualizations were inadequate to deal with exchange relationships in complex social and political environments.
A report of a year-long ethnographic study of 14 high school students' experiences as they became involved in the work of an environmental management organization. Analyses focus on the power dynamics that limited the students' growth and participation.
A case study examines the integration of academic and occupational education in community colleges. Consideration of benefits and obstacles suggests that this reform has potential for improving both general and career-related education.
The authors explore three assumptions in educational finance litigation: that dollars make a difference in outcomes, that courts and policymakers can develop standards for an "adequate" education, and that litigation will lead to equity in finance.
An examination of Chicago's governance reforms of the 1990's as one case of corporate influence.
This article discusses examples of sharp inequalities in school financing. It argues that the goal of educational equality does not confront the basic cause of educational inequality; fear of school integration perpetuates the existence of a multiplicity of school districts, which substantially increases the burden to fund education and ultimately costs society.
A comparison of the organizational and curricular dimensions of school-based and work-based preparation for jobs in the United States and Germany.
President Clinton's proposed youth apprenticeship for non-college-bound students may not equalize educational opportunities or improve economic prospects for poor and minority students but may reproduce inequities. One democratic alternative is to offer an education that equips students with specific vocational skills and abilities.
The United States has no systematic procedure to help secondary students transition from school to employment. That lack most adversely affects poor and minority students. This article examines successful school to work transitioning in Japan and Germany and notes that businesses and governments must recognize their responsibilities in preparing youth to make the transition.
An argument against Krashinsky's "Why Educational Vouchers May Be Bad Economics."
A review of the economic assumptions underlying arguments for and against school vouchers.
There are generally three types of
workplace education: the largely unstructured experience of working;
the more or less structured training or education in processes and
products specific to the company; and training or education in more
general principles or practices that are in some way necessary to the
job but are also transferable to other jobs and other pursuits.
Clearly the experience of working is itself a learning experience.
We see universal evidence of this in the widespread requirement of
experience as a condition of employment. When Henry Ford told his
recruiters not to discriminate in hiring, he was expressing his conviction
that everyone was equally inexperienced in the new requirements
of assembly-line production. But now, work experience is almost
always desirable and often imperative.
If democratic workplace theories now popular in Scandinavian countries were to be widely applied in the United States, major changes would be necessary in education. To produce workers able to participate in problem solving and decision making, the schools would have to liberate learning from authority-bound, drill-oriented practices.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the educational development
of youth cannot succeed solely through the efforts of the
schools. Learning must be enhanced through exposure of young
people to a variety of opportunities to test themselves in the community
and in the workplace alongside supportive adults. Schools
must find ways of working together with other organizations in
the community to make this possible.
It is in the context of such issues at the forefront of current events that riffs yearbook examines the relationships between education
As a means to some historical perspective on American attitudes
toward education and work, this chapter compares arguments
of that earlier era with contemporary views as reflected in
President Carter's Youth Initiative of 1980. Three issues are singled
out: (a) equality of opportunity and a more democratic system
of education, (b) the relation of education to economic growth
and productivity, and (c) the control of vocational training.
It would be a mistake to assume that a framework for thinking
about past and present vocational education grew solely, or even
mainly, out of political revolution or the desire to reject pre-revolutionary
patterns of education or training. It also grew out of a
revolution in thinking about the human condition and the promises
which could, in fact, be included in the blueprints for the hopes
that each generation had for the next.
A description of vocational education in foreign countries cannot come from a single mold. Differences among the
countries are substantial in matters of clientele, expectations, educational
methods, organization, and administration. It is best to
consider countries individually, to relate full-time vocational education
in regular schools to the national system of initial occupational
skill training, and to confine the discussion to young people
of upper-secondary age who have not been in the labor force.
The trends in the demand for workers at various skill levels and
in the patterns of their training interact with such demographic
factors as the age distribution of the population, labor force participation
rates, levels of achieved schooling, and the special position
of minority groups in such a way as to produce some general,
if speculative, implications.
This chapter will attempt to place licensing into perspective
for the vocational educator. It will explain the differences between
licensing and certification, how the licensing system works, requirements
for licensure, the social consequences of licensure, and
implications of licensure and certification for vocational education.
Since the beginning of the 1960s manpower policy in the United
States has taken on an affective quality reflecting concern for a
work force which has not only occupation-specific skills but also
personal commitment to work, positive self-concepts as effective
workers, and employability skills, including skill in searching for
work and in adjusting to a new job.
This chapter examines literacy acquisition in vocational programs.
Three conclusions are reached. First, the literacy needed
for employability probably differs from the literacy needed for
further education. Second, current vocational and occupational
training programs, while concerned with the acquisition of basic
skills, have yet to demonstrate substantial attention in actual instructional
practices or much success in improving basic skills.
Third, recent research on effective instruction, motivation for
learning, and the nature of skilled reading offers new ideas that
could be applied to improving literacy for employability among
In this chapter the equity and work establishment effectiveness
of secondary vocational education for youth in general and for
selected youth subgroups are assessed. We address three sets of
questions that we would expect to be relevant to the Policy debate
or the reauthorization of the federal Vocational Education Act.
describe briefly each of the three major sectors, detailing how each
works, for whom, and within limits of available data, how well,
and at what cost. We then assess the strengths and weaknesses of
past research and suggest ways of improving future research efforts.
This chapter focuses on the connections between high rates of
unemployment and alienation among black youth. It will suggest
that, rather than seeing joblessness as a product of alienation, black
youth express high aspirations that are only gradually eroded as the
realities of unemployment rates in the range of 30 to 40 percent
hit home for them.
Experience under the Youth Employment and Demonstration
Projects Act of 1977 (YEDPA) and experience with youth employment
and training programs provide a number of lessons concerning
the effectiveness of alternative activities and strategies in
meeting youth employment needs. These lessons provide the basis
for restructuring and reorienting the youth employment and training
system, as well as the background for budget and policy