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
In this chapter, ease studies of cooperative efforts are described.
The descriptions are followed by discussion of several factors that
emerge from the ease studies: indicators of cooperation, potent
variables that influence cooperation, unresolved issues, and explanatory
models of the cooperative process. Those findings and summary
conclusions are presented in subsequent sections of the chapter.
Because of the different and often inconsistent uses of the
terms "cooperation," "coordination," and "collaboration" in the
literature, those terms are used interchangeably in this chapter.
is up, the economy is faltering, and the major problems
in vocational education, in all of education, have not disappeared.
Indeed, the issues of the i96os seem to have grown more serious
with time. Although it is not possible to describe all the problems
that confront vocational education in a brief concluding chapter,
I will discuss a few of the more salient issues.
The history and implications of commercial education are examined and contrasted with current practices in vocational education.
Critical and revisionist historians of American education have generated a model of education in a capitalist society that has a functionalist orientation. However, this model does not properly acknowledge the importance of society's contradictions, disjunctions, and incoherence in social and educational change.
The problem of youth unemployment in the state of New York is explored in a study which begins with a general review of the sociodemographic features of the target population. Other topics include: work experience and education, attitudes toward work, job entry and career ladder jobs, and unemployment among minority youth.
An evaluation of the food industry's role in educating children on nutrition raises the question of how objective this instruction is, and whether the industry should be engaged in nutrition education at all.
This chapter deals with the issue of work and its meaning to
American youth. The emphasis is not upon questions of career
choice, but rather upon the ways in which youth approach work;
the way they feel about work; the role they believe work should
play within the framework of a total life-style; the expectations and aspirations they have for work; and the discrepancies they see
between their educational preparation and their work aspirations.
It is possible to combine all the individual and group consumption that goes on in the family unit into one "family consumption package" and, using economic theories designed for analyzing individual decisions, to make valid and useful statements about family activities.
Research into educational economics is reviewed and discussed, and recommendations for future research are made.
In studies that are made of education in the United States, relatively
little attention is given to the elementary school as a separate
entity. This becomes especially conspicuous when our own schemes
of educational development are compared with plans in various
countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In these countries,
financing of elementary schooling, for example, is dealt with as a
distinct issue. Estimates of economic and social returns of various
levels and branches of the educational system, however crude, are
made separately by level, and elementary education is treated as a
Compared to the large farm households in which farm and household work and the learning of related skills were combined, the contemporary urban setting reveals a separation of family, school education, and work.
Two fairly speculative models presented in this paper illustrate some less restrictive techniques of economic model-building. The first model is the micro-economic type. It suggests that if a school district wishes to maximize student learning, there may exist an optimal teacher salary-level it should pay, given the student ability to learn, the distribution of abilities in the population of teachers currently "in-the-market," and certain other conditions of supply and demand. The second model is macro-socioeconomic, and suggests possible relationships among higher education curriculum, economic and technological change, and social change.
The need for reform of the financial aspects of education is stressed.
The challenges of the present and their implications for the future
call for increased attention to vocational education beyond the high
school. Particularly critical are programs of one or two years' duration
for students who are preparing to enter the labor force and
programs for out-of-school youth and adults.
will set out below my basic assumptions about education
in contemporary United States so that my later analysis of important trends in the social and economic environment and the implications
of these trends for the future of education, in general, and
vocational education, in particular, can be objectively appraised.
There is increasing realization today that we are living in the
middle of a major revolution, every bit as far-reaching as the Industrial
Revolution some two hundred years ago. Because of its radical
nature and rapid pace, this technological or scientific revolution has
had, and no doubt will continue to have, major influence on vocational
It is the purpose of this chapter to review the program-planning
aspects of vocational education and to provide a limited description
of the several areas of occupational preparation that are usually considered
as the categories of vocational education.
How will children in elementary and junior high school know
what high school they wish to enter, unless well before graduation
they have learned much about occupations and about their own interests and desires? And when they gain new experience, develop
new ideas, and change their minds, how will they know "what to do"
unless a counselor is handy and alert at every point along the line?
Despite this, some vocational schools have no guidance program at all
and assert that they do not need it. Others want it, but plead poverty
and lack of staff. Some conduct guidance on an occasional, semi-emergency,
disciplinary basis, rather than as a vital school function.
The issues concerning the general purpose of vocational education
in our society are well drawn. The important questions concern the
individual and society in general. As the child grows up, he must be
educated for effective performance in all aspects of living. In a
world of work there is no escape from the necessity for fonnal
preparation of the individual for vocational pursuit. A strong society
depends upon educated citizens. These are axioms which have less
need for defense than for appraisal in the light of changing conditions.
It is simple to declare that someone else must bear the responsibility
for what amounts to a public service essential to the common good of
the society, but it is quite another thing to make sure that he is willing
or, by the very nature of his unique role in that society, is able to
bear such responsibility. Whether employers, trade associations, employee
associations, proprietary and nonprofit institutions, or voluntary
organizations, singly or co-operatively, can provide sufficient
vocational education to meet the needs of our society is largely determined
by their purposes and resources. It is well to inquire concerning
their potential in this matter.
The common conception of vocational education has changed over
the years. Once regarded as "those knacks in education," as an early
writer described the program, it is now perceived as an integral,
essential part of education. But attitudes toward work have changed
much more slowly: We still find people who measure a man by the
kind of work he does rather than by the quality of performance,
whatever his work may be.
Since the end of the Second World War, educational changes in the United States have been frequent and, to some extent, contradictory. In most school districts enrollments have sharply increased yet in some districts the number of children in attendance has diminished.
If it is agreed that the school must accept responsibility for aiding
young people to define and solve theil' contemporary problems more
adequately and to lay the ground work for more satisfying solutions
of their problems-in-prospect, and if it is further agreed that the school
should use whatever means are at its disposal to help boys and girls
with their problem-solving activities, whether or not these means are
within the compass of the school's customary range of action, work and
service experiences on a comprehensive basis must be a part of the
curriculum of the modern schooL
Vocational education is learning how to work. For the educator, it
is teaching others how to work. In the rise from savagery to civilization,
people have learned to work in many different ways.
The urgent demand for technically trained workers for the war
industries has made everyone conscious of the importance of vocational
education. New schools have been developed and the programs of
existing schools have been expanded to meet this demand. Youth surveys
have shown that many young people who are unable to secure
employment have not been trained for useful work. Hence, there has
come the demand that the schools give more attention to vocational
education and vocational guidance. We have never before witnessed
as great an effort to strengthen and to extend the program of vocational
education in the schools of this country.
This chapter moves on from these introductory but basic discussions
to a consideration of the scope and organization of vocational
education. In simple terms and as concisely as possible the chapter
aims to present the principles of administration and supervision which
should be operative in any program of vocational education. Such
principles are not new. They typify good practice in business and
industry as well as in schools. The virtue of their reiteration in this
volume lies in the emphasis given to the responsibility placed upon the
general administrator and in their application to the peculiar problems
in the vocational area.
The great weakness of academic education has been its detachment
from life. The growing strength of general education is its search for
life. The soundness of vocational education is its foundation upon life.
Everybody must work, so everybody must learn to work. "Everybody,"
young in school but old on the job, becomes the parent, the
employer, the farmer, the mechanic, the mayor, the Rotary Club
member, all pursuing their vocations.
The standard definition of vocational guidance, adopted after frequent
revisions by the National Vocational Guidance Association, is
stated in the following terms:
Vocational guidance is the process of assisting the individual to choose an
occupation, prepare for it, enter upon it, and progress in it. It is concerned
primarily with helping individuals make decisions and choices involved in planning
a future and building a career-decisions and choices necessary in effecting
satisfactory vocational adjustment.
Method is "a general or established way or order of doing anything
or the means or manner by which it is presented or taught."