CTER v32n2 - Editor's Note
James P. Greenan
Volume 32, Issue 2 focuses on a variety of inquiry areas in the field of Career and Technical Education (CTE). The areas include career development and career choice, workplace skills, and reflective thinking and instruction. These research foci have a strong grounding in the literature and continue to be important by informing practice in CTE.
Levon Esters sought to identify the factors that influenced the postsecondary education enrollment behaviors of students who graduated from urban agricultural education programs. The study’s theoretical framework was predicated on a social learning theory related to career decision making. The theory suggests how educational and career interests and skills are acquired. It also explains how the selection of programs of study, careers, and workplace contexts is accomplished. Further, it identifies the relationships between genetic factors including race, environmental learning experiences, and task skills. Additionally, social Learning theory describes three sets of propositions that influence interests, career decision making skills, and entry level behaviors with respect to educational or career options. Accordingly, the study was guided by four research questions: (a) What is the demographic profile of students who graduated from an urban agricultural education program? (b) Which individuals influence students to enroll or not enroll in a postsecondary education program in agriculture? (c) What events and/or experiences most influence students to enroll or not enroll in a postsecondary education program in agriculture? and (d) What factors explain why students who graduated from an urban agricultural education program enroll or do not enroll in a postsecondary education program in agriculture? The study’s results have implications for career development theory, career education practice, and career guidance and counseling.
Clifford McClain and Mildred McClain examined the extent that allied health care providers considered the SCANS (Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills) skills (and competencies) as those skills that are necessary for entry level employment in the allied health care industry. Further, they determined the extent that allied health care supervisors and managers perceived their entry level employees to possess sufficiently the SCANS skills and competencies. The differences between perceived allied health care industry requirements and entry level skills and competencies were also examined. The SCANS framework, therefore, was the conceptual foundation for the study. Three major research questions were posited: (a) To what extent do allied health care supervisors and managers consider each of the SCANS skills and competences necessary for entry level employment in the allied health care industry? (b) To what extent do allied health care supervisors and managers perceive their entry level employees to possess sufficiently the SCANS skills and competencies? and (c) To what extent do differences exist between supervisors’ and managers’ perceptions of allied health care industry requirements and supervisors’ and managers’ perceptions regarding the skills and competencies of entry level employees? The research results contribute to the knowledge base in workplace skills and practice in curriculum and instruction in CTE
Bradley Greiman and Holly Covington investigated student teachers’ journal writing experiences to seek an insight into the process of preparing reflective practitioners. The study was influenced by the work of Dewey and Schön in the creation of its theoretical framework. The conceptual foundation supported journal writing as a feasible strategy to develop and improve reflective thinking. Specifically, Greiman and Covington sought to determine student teachers’ preferred reflective modality, compare student teachers’ perceptions regarding journal writing outcomes, and compare student teachers’ perceptions regarding the benefits of journal writing, the barriers to journal writing, and suggestions for the journal writing component of student teaching. Justified with a strong theoretical framework and conceptual foundation, the following null hypothesis was formulated and tested: There are no statistically significant differences between those student teachers who received and those student teachers who did not receive journal prompts on journal writing outcomes. The findings contribute to the existing theoretical knowledge base; the recommendations provide the potential to improve teacher preparation and development in CTE.
Research that contributes to the CTE research knowledge base, and assists to improve practice in career development, workplace skills and work-based learning, and preparing practitioners with the capacity to think and teach reflectively, is responsive to the field. The authors appear to have accomplished these outcomes. Theory and practice in CTE should be enhanced, accordingly.