Education Through Occupations in American High Schools

Volume 1: Approaches to Integrating Academic and Vocational Education
Volume 2: The Challenges of Implementing Curriculum Integration

W. Norton Grubb, Editor

"In the current search for reforming the high school--for restructuring schools, to use the voguish term--one solution is simply to reverse the separation between academic and vocational purposes that took place at the turn of the century.... The occupational focus presented in these volumes has the advantage of acknowledging the central occupational purpose of schooling and the crucial role of work in the lives of adults, rather than obfuscating vocational purposes behind an academic facade."
--From the Introduction

The majority of high school students view their schoolwork as necessary to their future employment--whether culminating in acceptance to college or with a high school diploma. Yet the courses dominating the curriculum, the high-status "school subjects," often have the least application to the world of careers and adult responsibilities; that is, they are "academic" in the worst sense of the word. Education Through Occupations in American High Schools addresses this paradox, suggesting that the separation of vocational and academic purposes need not be accepted as inevitable. The editor and the authors he has gathered examine curriculum integration from a variety of perspectives, presenting this complex reform as a possible solution to many current widespread complaints about the secondary schools in this country.

The chapters in Volume 1 describe the conditions that have generated interest in curriculum integration, including the Carl Perkins amendments requiring that federal funds be spent for this kind of reform. These chapters define what integration is and what forms it can take, based on the practices of enterprising teachers, administrators, and students who have experimented with different approaches to schooling. Volume 2 then takes up the problem of implementing these changes, and of undoing a division--between theoretical and applied, between academic and vocational, between "college bound" and "non-college-bound"--that has been in place for more than a century.

Vol. 1/1995/256 pp./Paper, $21.95/ISBN 0-8077-3450-0/Cloth, $46.00/ISBN 0-8077-3451-9
Vol. 2/1995/288 pp./Paper, $23.95/ISBN 0-8077-3459-4/Cloth, $49.00/ISBN 0-8077-3460-8

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