Saturday, February 28, 2009

College bound or Vocational Education?

Why is there a distinction between college-bound and technical school students?

Whether someone is fixing my car or operating on my heart, I would like to know that both of them have the critical thinking, literacy, and problem-solving skills to handle the situation effectively.

We are brought up to believe that one job is more important and more valuable than the other. Yet each job requires a level of skill that takes talent and knowledge. I don't want the "lesser than knowledgeable" person working on my car anymore than I want a "lesser than knowledgeable" person working on my heart.

Maybe I'm exposing my own biases here. The biases that were passed on to me were never stated anywhere, but they were understood. In the rural town I grew up in, it was easy to see who was heading "somewhere" and who wasn't. Kids were labeled based on their subject choices once in high school. Choosing shop class meant that you weren't on a college track and would end up being a mechanic or some other "low-level" job. There was a stereotype associated with the vocational classes offered.

Why is that?

How does the path to college vs. the path to vocational school get such different respect? Both paths need a degree of competency. I would like to see our schools offering that same level of competency to ALL kids so that no matter what choice they make they are equipped with the intelligence to be efficient and effective at their job.

Unfortunately, it's the children of color who disproportionately get tracked and labeled into the vocational classes once the education system has failed them. That is not beneficial to any of us.

We need to do a better job of educating ALL children so that each child is able to make his/her own choice as to what they want to be when they grow up.

For more on this, read here: Career Skills said to get Short Shrift
Post a Comment