This brief article introduces the idea of education through occupations, outlining some emerging practices which use occupations to teach both theory and applications of conventional subjects. The most promising of these efforts-career academies, career majors, and focus schools-reshape entire schools. Other reforms, based on the integration of academic and vocational education, are linked with efforts to keep schools small; treat teachers as professionals; develop choice mechanisms for students; and promote constructivist, meaning-centered teaching. Norton Grubb, NCRVE's Berkeley site director, points out that education through occupations can eliminate the unproductive distinction between academic and vocational education, and invest the "shopping mall high school" with greater focus and purpose.
MDS-1048 / August 1996