Liberalizing Vocational Study: Democratic Approaches to Career Education
- Publish Date: 2005-01-27
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Emery J. Hyslop-Margison
This book addresses a critically important question regarding human capital learning in our present neo-liberal schooling context: How can contemporary career education programs be integrated into public school curricula without impacting negatively on the liberal learning, intellectual autonomy, and democratic citizenship of students?
To alleviate the enduring curriculum tension between liberal and vocational study, the book recommends adopting Aristotelian and Deweyan approaches to career education. While Aristotle offers a philosophy of education whose ultimate aim remains sensitive to the critical emphasis of liberal study, its content and practice must also address production objectives. Dewey was an ardent supporter of vocational education, but he rejected the social efficiency view that students should be prepared to meet the narrow human capital requirements of industry. He believed that vocational education must respect principles of democratic learning and broaden future occupational opportunities for students. Ultimately, this book suggests that the choice is not the traditional bifurcated one between liberal and vocational education, but between vocational education that is liberal and democratic, and that which is not.