Introduction to Pathways to a Productive Adulthood: The Role of CTE in the American High School

Publication James R. Stone, IIIApr 2017

Unlike many, if not most, other industrialized nations, U.S. education lacks formal structures—like apprenticeships—that facilitate the transition of youth from secondary education to the work-place. This issue of the Peabody Journal of Education examines the important role of career and technical education in helping young people begin that transition to a lifelong role as a productive citizen in a rapidly evolving labor market. The issue begins with a brief introduction to career and technical education (CTE) and seeks to frame the discussion that follows. Throughout the content of the issue, authors address several important CTE topics: curriculum, career readiness, work-based learning, teachers, and the production of teachers as well as career pathways. First, important to the discussion is framing a relevant curriculum. Empirically tested pedagogies that help students master core academics in the context of authentic problem solving are discussed, as well as evidence for the potential for CTE to enhance students’ career readiness. A key pedagogy of CTE, school-supervised, work-based learning is examined and data suggest proceeding with caution. Teachers are a key to any effective classroom and the state of CTE, and the production of well-prepared CTE teachers is considered. Data from a longitudinal study of a career pathway are examined for lessons learned. We conclude with an overview of the history of federal CTE policy and what the future may bring.

Stone, J. R. III. (2017). Introduction to Pathways to a Productive Adulthood: The Role of CTE in the American High School. Peabody Journal of Education.

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