The History of Career and Technical Education
As I look at the history of Career and Technical Education there are a myriad of significant people, legislations, and events. It would take much longer than this literature review to cover each and every topic. Therefore, for the purpose of this literature review, I have decided to produce a condensed version of CTE’s history, and focused on some of the several important attributes of CTE: The Morrill act of 1862, The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, and The Carl Perkins Vocational and Technical act of 2006.
The Morrill Act of 1862
Justin Smith Morrill introduced the Morrill Act, also referred to as the Land Grant College Act. The Act served in two noteworthy ways: as an incentive to higher education in America by providing vocational training regardless of class or social economic standing, and the Act established educational guidelines in each state that was responsible for educating students in the fields of agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other professions that were germane at the time (Gordon, 2008). Alaska was accepted as a location to have a land-grant institution in 1929, and opened to students in 1922 in Fairbanks, Alaska. In a recent email sent from Jorgensen (2010), he mentioned how the land-grant institution in Alaska have changed but not have kept up with the times as far as teacher preparation and university connection state obligations.
According to Jorgensen (2010) in a letter addressed to Representative Paul Seaton, Land grant universities were designed to do the research for proven educational practices and send teachers into the field with the tools (curriculum knowledge and teaching practices) to teach the students they are to serve. Our university is disconnected from this constitutional state obligation and delivers less than one third of the teachers and leaders needed and most do not have the tools or we would get the results. Pink outlines the value of team, motivation, autonomy, mastery and purpose. Our Department, University and Schools working together as a team with the collegial practice described in the Flat World, with Kohn and Ravitch can deliver for our children. It will take more than a single bullet, but a fully loaded system identified by the research we have done and can do. (Jorgensen, 2010, p.1)
The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917
The Smith-Hughes Act made $1.7 million available for secondary-level educational programs (Gordon, 2008). States that participated in the plan appointed state directors, matched federal monies, and elected boards of vocational education, and defined local guidelines for use of the funds (Gasbarre, 2006). The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 shed significant light on the need for legislation to take a proactive stance on vocational and technical education. According to Gordon (2008),
The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was the first vocational education act, and it contained specific elements that contributed to the isolation of vocational education from other parts of the comprehensive high school program. In order to receive federal funds under Smith-Hughes, each state was required to establish a state board for vocational education…the Smith-Hughes Act was influenced by a variety of social, economic, and political forces; its primary objective was to offer youth an alternative to the general curriculum that existed at that particular period of time. (p. 88)
The Smith-Hughes Act was part of a larger plan of national preparedness and America found vocational education unprepared. The critical military and industrial shortage of trained workers became an emergency for the newly created Federal Board for Vocational Education (Gordon, 2008).
The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006
On January 23, 2001, President George W. Bush presented his plan for educational reform to Congress, The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. NCLB outlined four major principles in an education reform plan: stronger accountability for results, expanded flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that had been proven to work (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). A part of NCLB is the Carl D. Perkins Act. “The President [George W. Bush] signed The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006 into law on August 12, 2006. The new Act provided an increased focus on the academic achievement of career and technical education students, strengthen the connections between secondary and postsecondary education, and improve state and local accountability” (U.S. Department of Education, 2007, p. 1). The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006 gave students options for planning for their future, guided schools on what the student should accomplish before leaving high school, how funds would be adequately used in schools, and other avenues for CTE to improve the current environment.
There are so many influential people in CTE and if this was an encyclopedia rather than a proposal I probably would be able to list two or three volumes of names. However, for the sake of time, I have chosen three that have made significant impacts in CTE and their philosophies are still present today in the educational arena. These three people are: John Dewey, Johann Pestalozzi, and Booker T. Washington. Please do not be offended that I have chosen only men, there are several women who have made outstanding contributions to CTE. This could be your project to add them to the list on the wiki.
Dewey had a vision for education, which viewed occupations as a vital component of educational activity. According to Gordon (2008), “John Dewey (1916) saw occupation as central to educational activity. He did, however, express concern about any form of vocational education that would continue the present forms of higher education for those who could afford it while giving the masses a narrow education for specialized occupations under the control of industry” (p. 29). Dewey did see the danger in narrowing the education of the masses and allowing a more unspecialized education to those who could afford it. Those that could have a more open education would have more of an advantage as a well-rounded individual. Those individuals would also have opportunities to move to other types of occupations because they have the capability to do so as oppose to the person who may only have to go to the next occupation that is in the same field.
Since the focus was on the workplace, many new theories were developed, and with the onset of World War I, many new changes occurred for the student, community and school. Spring (2008) gave an example of Denver in 1923 having an average size elementary classroom of thirty to forty students. Washington, D.C. had segregated classrooms composing of blacks with average size classroom of 37.3 and whites 34.3. During this time, John Dewey (1859-1952) arrived on the educational scene and brought with him a stark contrast of previous educational practices. According to Spring (2008), “When Dewey founded the Laboratory School, he wanted to develop methods that would demonstrate to the student the social value of knowledge and the interdependence of society” (p. 282). Dewey saw students interacting and learning from each other. He wanted students to be seen as individuals and not inundated in-group mediocrity.
Johann Pestalozzi gave to the mother and the household the main responsibility in the home, which became his model for instruction in the school (Spring, 2008). During the nineteenth century students were charged with learning material through rote memorization and very strict discipline. Students were asked to read, recite, work at their desks, and listen to verbal instructions from the teacher. It was argued that teachers were of two calibers: the “intellectual overseer,” who stressed memorization and punished failures in assignments, and the “drillmaster,” who had the students repeat material in unison (Spring, 2008). Pestalozzi stressed innovation that focused on everyday life: the demands and pleasures of learning, taking care of others, preparing food, raising children, taking journeys, and completing meaningful work. He was one of the first to understand that the dispersed nature of knowledge and the effectiveness of localization and combining individual understanding. His practice of seeing that a person’s knowledge can only represent a fragment of the totality of what is known, learning can be achieved when people combine what they have learned (Hawken, 2007).
Booker T. Washington
Booker T Washington’s “I have a Dream…ooops wrong person this is BTW not MLK. Booker T. Washington’s speech was The Atlanta Comprise. A speech, which he gave drawing a road map on the direction African-Americans should take in education and life. Washington’s speech was widely acclaimed by many, including the president of the United States, as a blueprint for Black Advancement (Gordon, 2008). Booker T. Washington paved the way for Industrial Education. Washington envisioned education as a concept, which would bring forth in students knowledge, attitudes, motivations, and commitments to not only work as individuals but also as a collective community. According to Gordon (2008), “Washington defined the educated person as one possessing (1) both cognitive and problem-solving skills, (2) self-discipline, (3) moral standards, and (4) a sense of service” (p. 22). From my perception, his development of the four items listed above viewed students lives filled with energy, vitality, actions to see them use their hands to build, and their minds to seek new ways of building not only buildings but schemes and perceptions for a better way of life. Washington envisioned living life in a peaceful coexistence with others in the community (Gordon, 2008).
Research has shown that organizations have been one of the most effective ways to teach some of the critical thinking skills that are necessary if individuals are to reach their fullest potential (Gordon, 2008).
The Association for Career and Technical Education
In 1926 a new voice appeared on the vocational education scene, it was the American Vocational Association better known today Association for Career and Technical Education
(ACTE) and the programs that were once called vocational are now called career and technical (ACTE, 2009). ACTE is a national organization that is active in national leadership, rendering service to state or local communities, provides a national open forum for the discussion of all questions involved in CTE, and unites all the interests of CTE throughout the country (Gordon, 2008). Its major objectives are professional development, program development, policy development and marketing (Gordon, 2008).
The Office of Engineering and Technology
The Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) advises the Federal Communication Commission concerning engineering matters. Their mission is to manage the spectrum and provide leadership to create new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public (Federal Communications Commission, 2010). An important part of OET’s mission, is the distribution of information regarding research, studies, and provides technical information to the public. The documents are available to individuals and groups inside and outside of FCC. The documents may contain technical developments, investigations, advisory or informative material, give preliminary views on a question under study, and may also be a summation of work done in a specific technical area (Federal Communications Commission, 2010).
The State Educational Technology Directors Association
This organization was founded in the fall of 2001; the State Educational Technology Directors Association is the principle association that represents the state directors for educational technology (State Educational Technology Directors Association, 2008). SETDA’s mission is to promote national leadership in educational technology to support achievement in lifelong learning, professional development in educational leadership for members, and to build partnerships and provide leadership to advance learning opportunities. According to the Alaska State Educational Technology Plan (2005), there are five goals for Alaska:
The five identified goals are:
1. Increase academic achievement across all content areas through the meaningful and effective use of technology by students, teachers, and administrators.
2. Enhance the capacity of professionals and paraprofessionals in technology integration and data-driven instruction through high-quality professional development.
3. Improve and personalize student learning by supporting the collection, collation, and communication of relevant student assessment data for use by the educational community.
4. Expand learning options for all students and schools by developing and maintaining dependable access to advanced technologies and telecommunications connectivity.
5. Engage families and communities in developing relationships with schools, districts, and other educational organizations to promote interactive communication through the use of technology. (State Educational Technology Association, 2008, p. 5.)
As instructors look at the goals listed, hopefully, they will begin to formulate means in which those goals can be implemented even in short increments into their daily curriculum.
Career and Technical Student Organizations
Career and Technical Student organizations (CTSOs) brought together students interested in careers in specific vocational fields, providing them with a range of individual, cooperative, and competitiveness activities designed to explore and expand their leadership and job related skills. Many of these organizations are incorporated into the regular classroom curriculum, while others support curricular efforts outside the classroom (Gordon, 2008). Public Law 81-740 was passed in 1950 and was the only act to federally charter a vocational student organization. It clearly established the integral relationship of a vocational student organization to the instructional program and represented the first time that the United Sates Office of Education was recognized as having an association with vocational youth organizations (Gordon. 2008).
Family Career and Leader Community
The Future Homemakers of America voted to change its name to Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) as its national leadership meeting in July 1999 (Gordon, 2008, p. 227). The FCCLA is a nonprofit national vocational student organization for young men and women in consumer sciences and family in public and private schools through grade 12. According to the Department of Education (2009),
Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues family and consumer sciences education. Today over 227,000 members are active in a network of associations in 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life — planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision-making and interpersonal communication — necessary in the home and workplace. (United States of Education, n.d., p. 1)
Today’s FCCLA is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and addresses important areas such as personal, family, work, and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education (Gordon, 2008).
SkillsUSA was the first national organization for students in trade and industrial (T & I) education, The Future Craftsmen of America, was formed by educators during the 1920’s (Gordon, 2008). SkillsUSA’s mission spoke of its members being empowered to become world-class workers and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA has been noted as an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers enrolled in public career and technical programs. SkillsUSA has built itself a reputation as place that builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes, and communication skills. Another important aspect of SkillsUSA also promoted the understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service (SkillsUSA, n.d.).
The Technology Student Association
Industrial arts student groups have existed since the first industrial arts teachers decided to do something extra with their students after school. Desired on the part students and advisors of industrial arts clubs triggered the establishment of the American Industrial Association (AIASA). AIASA was organized as a sponsored program of the American Industrial Arts Association and in 1978 was officially incorporated. The TSA students reported improvements in problem solving, creativity, communication skills, a better understanding of technology, and a motivation to do their best work (Gordon, 2008).
Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). (2002). CTE information and research. Retrieved from http://www.acteonline.org/search.aspx?query=Vocational+Education+Amendme…
Alaska State Department of Education. (2010). Alaska employability standards. Retrieved from eed.state.ak.us/tls/CTE/… /alaskaemployabilitystandards.pdf
Gordon, H. R. D. (2008). The history and growth of career and technical
education in America (3rd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Hawken, P. (2007). Blessed unrest: How the largest social movement in history is restoring grace, justice, and beauty to the world. Penguin Books: New York.
Jorgensen, S. (2010, March 24). A letter to Representative Paul Seaton. Online posting. Retrieved from Superintendents of Alaska Listserv.
State of Alaska Department of Education (n.d.). Career and technical education. Retrieved from http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/cte/docs/010%20VocEdAllocations.pdf
State of Alaska. (2010) Division of labor standards and safety. Retrieved from http://labor.state.ak.us/lss/home.htm
State’s Career Clusters. (2010). Career clusters. Retrieved http://www.careerclusters.org/
United States Department of Education. (2007). Carl D. Perkins career and technical education act of 2006: Reauthorization of Perkins. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/sectech/leg/perkins/index.html
SkillsUSA. (n.d.). SkillsUSA fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.skillsusa.org/about/factsheet.shtml
Spring, J. (2008). The American school: From the Puritans to No Child Left Behind (7th Ed). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
United States Department of Education. (2004). Enhancing education through technology. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg34.html