NCRVE Resources Available

Integrating Academic and Vocational Education: Cases from the Field

Here is a real-world, hands-on and enjoyable approach to professional development! These 46 case studies in this recent NCRVE report map what works well in integration efforts and provide some examples of less successful strategies. This is an excellent resource for teams of educators involved in the complex reform process, as well as for individual learning. Among the topics are: Shifting from "Us and Them" to "We," Making Math More Relevant, Teaching Writing Skills to Horticulture Students, Confusion Reigns , The Student Does the Teaching, Dealing With the Skeptics, Don't Step on My Toes, and Sharing with Parents.

Included with each case study are discussion questions that encourage team-building, open communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Many of the situations described will be familiar to Network teams. Others will give a foretaste of things to come! Working with these case studies is a great way for teams to refresh and re-focus themselves, to validate what they've experienced, as well as an excellent orientation for a team which is beginning the long strange process of working together. A chart of the cases and tips on using them in workshops are provided as well.

For pricing information and to order Preparing Teachers to Successfully Integrate Vocational and Academic Education: A Case Study Approach (MDS-780), phone Materials Distribution Service at (800) 637-7652 after January 8, 1996.

Teachers Hail "All Aspects of the Industry" Approach

"Our high school is built on the belief that there are two kinds of students, those who have "the stuff" to go to college, and those who don't. We're looking for a way to reorganize to give all of our students the skills and knowledge both for work and for college."
"I teach carpentry and have my own contracting business. I'd like to retire soon, but I'm worried. My kids are great carpenters, but they have no idea how to raise capital, deal with zoning and contracts, or manage a business. Looking at my students, I'm realizing that they wouldn't be prepared to take on those responsibilities, either."
"As a Language Arts teacher, I've been working with the vocational teachers to integrate language arts with such subjects as food services, auto mechanics, and carpentry. I've had students do some business correspondence and descriptive writing, but I just don't see a way to move it much further. I'd like to, because where I have integrated learning, students have been more engaged."

Sound familiar? These are two of the perspectives that have prompted educators to implement "all aspects of the industry" reforms- that is, to provide students with strong experience in and understanding of all aspects of an industry, including planning, management, finance, technical and production skills, underlying principles of technology, community issues, labor issues, and health, safety, and environmental issues.

A new NCRVE study, edited by Network Project Director Erika Nielsen-Andrew, focuses on how teaching based on AAI accelerates and completes academic-vocational integration, as well as improves work-based learning. The report features in-depth case studies from: the Health and Bioscience Academy at Oakland Technical High School in California; the Rindge School of Technical Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts; South Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the Pennsylvania Youth Apprenticeship Program in Peabody High School in Pittsburgh. These schools' efforts ranged from the reshaping of tenth-grade curriculum, to the development of an assessment rubric, to the expansion of an existing Hospitality Management program. The case studies, written by the schools themselves, give depth to the concept of AAI with practical examples of AAI's strengths; how AAI complements and completes a range of other reforms; and the challenges that arise in developing different programs.

One of the strengths of AAI is that it can complement and complete integrated academic and vocational education. Finance, community issues, and environmental issues lead teachers and students back into history and social studies -- subjects which are rarely integrated now. In addition, AAI works as a quality control check for work-based learning. Workplaces are dynamic learning environments, but only if students are exposed to all aspects of the business rather than corralled into a narrow area. AAI is also a powerful model for coordinating reform efforts. Oakland educators described AAI as "a set of guiding ideas that can give our program coherence."

But AAI's chief strength may be the flexibility it provides in the face of change. As Lauren Jacobs notes, "In the traditional model of vocational education, where students train for particular occupations, change is a major obstacle. Technological changes mean new equipment is needed, straining budgets. Economic shifts wreak havoc on job predictions. `All aspects' is one way to convert change from an obstacle into a learning opportunity. Students can investigate the causes of change and responses to it."

This report is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators interested in all aspects of the industry as an approach to school reform. The projected release date for As Teachers Tell It: Implementing All Aspects of the Industry is June 1996. We'll keep you updated as to the availability; meanwhile, you can call Erika Nielsen Andrew for a sneak preview at 800-(old phone deleted).

Getting to Work: A Guide for Better Schools

This is a comprehensive package of strategies, activities, and case studies for teachers and administrators dedicated to improving education. First and foremost, Getting to Work is about helping all studens master a high level of academic knowledge and skills-preparing them for a lifetime of learning and working.

By better integrating academic and vocational instruction and by carefully linking classroom-based learning to work-based learning, educators can raise the understanding and achievement of many more students.

To acheive this aim, Getting to Work guides educators in using the world of work to create a rigorous, broad-reaching curriculum that will prepare sutdents for the full range of postesecondary opportunities, as well as for successful careers.

*Getting to Work (Complete Set) $395
includes practitioner's guide, and facilitator's guide
*Practioner's Guide $227
includes Introduction & 5 modules
*Facilitator's Guide $150
includes workshop plans, video, overheads
*The Modules ($65.00 each)
Module 1: Education for Work
Module 2: Integrated Curriculum
Module 3: Learning Experiences
Module 4: Student Assessment
Module 5: Cross-Cutting Issues

All of our NCRVE products can be purchased by contacting our Materials Distribution Service in Illinois:

National Center for Research in Vocational Education
Material Distribution Service
Western Illinois University
46 Horrabin Hall
Macomb, IL 61455

phone: 800-637-7652
fax: 309-298-2869

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