When I grew up, you needed a denim jacket and a craving for cigarettes to sign up for HS vocational classes. The rumor, had it anyways. Today? Times-are-a-changin'...and I'm thrilled.
Recently, Edutopia's "Spiral Notebook" blog asked the following: "Is Every School a Vocational School?" (Personally, I really dug the use of "translation business" in the post -- clever re-framing!)
Today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers further fuel to the question in their article, "Vocational Education is Shifting Focus":
It was once the refuge of high school students who weren't headed to college; for the kids who didn't excel at academics or preferred getting their hands dirty. But "vocational" education — the former province of budding mechanics, welders and secretaries — is shedding its grease-stained, dictation-taking image.
Why does this matter? Well, it has nothing to do with the evolution of vocational training in my mind, but the future demand to offer 'relevant' and 'engaging' learning opportunities for all students, as well as the blurring of the line between 'real world' and 'college' as acceptable options once you graduate:
"Schools are trying to show students the relevance of applied learning," said Alisha Hyslop of the Virginia-based Association for Career and Technical Education. "School reform models are taking their cues from CTE."