Welcome, Readers, to Volume 45, Number 3, Winter 2009 of the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education (JITE), and the final issue of my term as editor. The editorship is now in the capable hands of Robert Howell whose term begins with Volume 46, Number 1, Spring 2009. I wish to extend a sincere thank you to the members of the editorial board, the reviewers, the style editor, and the manuscript contributors who have made this experience an enjoyable one.
The authors of the first article in this issue ask us to consider the evolving requirements of the 21st Century workforce combined with a projected shortage of skilled workers and the implications for our education programs. Stone, Kaminski, and Gloeckner state,
The purpose of this research was to identify if a knowledge gap existed between the manufacturing industry and the educational institutions charged with education of the production workforce throughout the Front Range of Colorado. One of the areas explored was perception of needed hard skills and soft skills. (p.7)
Similarly, Sturko and Gregson chose to focus on factors that play a role in successful professional development for Career and Technical Teachers designed to address changes in classroom practices stemming from workforce requirements and mandates included within Perkins IV. The authors state,
The purpose of this multi-case study research was to better understand and describe the types of learning and collaboration that CTE teachers experience by participating in two different types of professional development opportunities: a formal course on integration strategies delivered by a CTE master teacher (defined in this study as a secondary school career and technical educator with a master’s degree and several years of teaching experience), and a study group of six CTE teachers who met regularly to discuss issues related to teaching and student learning. (pp. 39-40)
Adiguzel and Cardak contribute to this overall consideration of relevance of curriculum and effectiveness of instruction with their evaluation of the current computer technology and programming curriculum taught within the higher education system in Turkey. Document analysis and student interviews resulted in the authors’ conclusions,
The results of the research reveal that the curriculum of “Computer Technology and Programming” was influenced by the structural problems of vocational colleges. In addition to this, some problems related to content and the teaching-learning process of the curriculum including, quality of teaching, managements of internship, and limitations of the specialization choices provided by the curriculum were identified. (pp. 80-81)
Fazarro, Pannkuk, Pavelock, and Hubbard take the discussion to the next level with their consideration of the interactions between student learning style preferences and instructional methods.
The purpose of this study was to determine the learning style preferences of undergraduate Agriculture students in a Soil Science course (treatment group) using the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS) and to determine, when using the students’ learning style preferences, if their course grade average (CGA) is higher versus the control group of the Soil Science course. In turn, modifying instruction will better fit the students’ learning style preferences for the course. The study also sought to determine the students’ preferred learning styles from the treatment group. (p. 89)
Finally, Bazile and Walter provide a follow up to the discussion of postsecondary career and technical instruction certification initiated by Olson and Spidell in Volume 44, Issue 2 of the JITE. The authors state,
…the following is organized to assist stakeholders of career and technical education in developing a clearer understanding of the issues that make it difficult to reach consensus on the implementation of required certification for all CTE instructors at the postsecondary level. (p. 106)