The Cunning Hand, The Cultured Mind: Models for Integrating Vocational and Academic Education

Publication July 1991

Based on observations in many schools, this report discusses the integration of vocational and academic education and describes various approaches to integration. In the first section, the various reasons supporting an integrated curriculum are examined. In the second section, eight different models of integration are outlined, and descriptions of how high schools have changed their curricula and restructured their program and course offerings are provided. Each of the models includes a variety of practices and approaches.

The third section clarifies the requirements for successful efforts at integration, indicating the importance of consistency among the many groups that affect the schools. This section also outlines what resources are most crucial, and it addresses the need for sustained effort and the institutionalization of reform. The fourth section summarizes the purposes for and the ambitions of different approaches, from improving basic skills instruction within vocational courses to developing career paths to help students think about the consequences of their educational choices. The final part of this section explains how integration can reform the U.S. high school, with benefits for all students.

Grubb, W. N., Davis, G., Lum, J., Plihal, J., & Morgaine, C. (1991, July). The cunning hand, the cultured mind: Models for integrating vocational and academic education. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

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