A Comparison of Workforce Preparation Policies in the United States and Finland.Report as inadecuate

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The national policies on preparing youth for the work force in the United States and Finland were compared through a retrospective review of past policy decisions. Qualitative data were gathered by analyzing key policy documents and by conducting focus group interviews with reform stakeholders within three Finnish experimental school divisions and three tech prep consortia representing rural, urban, and suburban areas of one state in the United States. The focus group interview results were analyzed by comparing the responses of each group within each country and national work force preparation goals as identified during the policy document analysis. The two countries were found to have similar national goals but different contextual environments and implementation strategies. Finland emphasized flexibility in high school course selection with upgrade technical preparation in emerging polytechnic institutions. U.S. policy focused on increased course requirements for graduation from high school and stronger linkages between secondary and postsecondary programs for specialized occupational preparation. Both countries were working to improve work force preparation of youth by emphasizing the role of continuing education and internationalization beyond compulsory school. The main difference between the U.S. and Finnish systems was in the emphasis placed on breadth of studies and specialization. (Contains 19 references.) (MN)

Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Consortia, Education Work Relationship, Educational Legislation, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Federal Legislation, Foreign Countries, Government School Relationship, High Schools, Job Training, Labor Force Development, Postsecondary Education, Public Policy, Tech Prep, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education

Author: Lasonen, Johanna; Frantz, Nevin R., Jr.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=10868&id=ED380571

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