When I first started my career as a technical educator I was told by a friend that had been teaching for years that the significance of technical education comes and goes in waves. The educational system will be hot and on fire about improving technical education, then it will be put on the back burner and forget about for awhile. I am starting to understand exactly what he was talking about.
When I started teaching seven years ago, the No Child Left Behind act was hot and heavy. This required education to focus on preparing students for the test. This created an emphasis on academic education, which put many technical programs on the back burner. Then when the budget crisis hit over the past several years, what programs do you think took the hit? That’s right, the programs that were more expensive to operate, which are many of the technical programs. Technical education has been hit hard by these two factors, but I believe that is changing. People are starting to realize that technical education is a very important part of education as there are a lot of people not going to 4 year institutions as projected or assumed. We’ve created a gap for students to fall through by eliminating technical programs and now we’re realizing it.
I have read several articles stating that they need to beef up their technical education. So I guess that the educational buzz is technical education so it’s our turn to be in the spot light for a little while.
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