School-to-Work Opportunities in the Middle School: Concepts and Issues.Report as inadecuate

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A study questioned 26 administrators, counselors, and teachers at 6 middle schools regarding School-To-Work (STW) curriculum implementation. It asked about conceptual, organizational, and operational reasons for implementation; curriculum focus; student benefits; and issues and concerns. Five national associations were questioned about their views on including STW curricula at the middle school level. Reasons for implementing STW were as follows: enhance curriculum relevance; improve responsiveness to the needs of at-risk students; enhance student development; develop career awareness and exposure; support systemic change and school reform; build community linkages; and improve transition to high school. Over half of the interviewees had no known conceptual reasons for adopting a middle school STW curriculum; several referred to the middle school philosophy and the Carnegie Turning Points. Interdisciplinary training was most often cited as the organizational reason for implementation. Curricula focused on career exploration and awareness, self-awareness, contextual learning, service learning, and integrated themes. Students benefited by enhanced personal development. Categories of issues and concerns about implementation were participant buy-in, program logistics, resources, and program quality and outcomes. STW curriculum issues and concerns of association representatives highlighted philosophical differences among them. (Appendixes contain 42 references and participant lists.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Career Awareness, Career Education, Career Exploration, Curriculum Development, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Educational Change, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, School Community Relationship, School Restructuring, Vocational Education

NCRVE Materials Distribution Service, Horrabin Hall 46, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (order no. MDS-1096: $8.50).

Author: Finch, Curtis R.; Mooney, Marianne


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