CTER v33n2 - Editor's Note
James P. Greenan
Volume 33, Issue 2 includes a diverse array of research problems and issues in the field of Career and Technical Education (CTE). These areas focus on the future of CTE research and suggestions for communicating its significance and enhancing its impact; gender, beginning teachers, and mentors; skills standards and CTE stakeholders; CTE teacher recruitment and retention; and dual and articulated credit and its influence on college readiness and retention. The research problems and their solutions will, in large part, lead the field of CTE to enhance teaching and learning, expand its theoretical base, and inform practice.
Richard Joerger’s 2007 Presidential Address emphasized strategies for communicating the significance and optimizing the effect of research in CTE. His message has implications for (a) strengthening awareness of and support for CTE research, (b) enhancing the demand and applications of CTE research, (c) the preparation of professionals to conduct and use research, (d) the expansion of intra-and interdisciplinary research partnerships and activities, and (e) identifying, monitoring, and marketing a national CTE research agenda. Joerger’s insights and recommendations represent key strategies that, if embraced and pursued in the field, will determine the future vitality and relevance of CTE research in educational and workforce contexts.
Tracy Kitchel, Bradley Greiman, Robert Torres, and Scott Burris investigated the role of gender in mentoring relationships that involve beginning CTE teachers and their formal mentors. The theoretical framework was based on a strong literature and research foundation grounded in the similarity-attraction paradigm, relational demography, and attachment theory. Accordingly, the study formulated the following hypotheses: (a) There is no significant difference between males and females on psychosocial mentoring and its functions, (b) There is no significant difference between same-gender and mixed-gender dyads on psychosocial mentoring and its functions, (c) There is no significant difference between males and females on dyad similarity, (d) There is no significant difference between males and females on dyad satisfaction, (e) There is no significant difference between same-gender and mixed-gender dyads on dyad similarity, and (f) There is no significant difference between same-gender and mixed-gender dyads on dyad satisfaction. The findings contribute to the theoretical base and have important implications for professional development and improvement of teaching and learning in CTE.
Debra Bragg and Matthew Marvel examined the differences in the awareness, use, and perceived impact of educators, employers, and public-sector workforce training providers toward state and national skills standards implementation. The theoretical framework was premised on a solid foundation embedded in the literature and ongoing inquiry related to skills standards. Three research questions were posited for the study: (a) Are there differences in awareness of Illinois’ skills standards and national skills standards by employers, educators, and workforce training providers? (b) Are there differences in the use of Illinois’ skills standards and national skills standards by employers, educators, and workforce training providers? and (c) Are there differences in perceptions of the impact of Illinois’ skills standards and national skills standards by employers, educators, and workforce training providers? The study’s results contribute to enhancing theory and practice related to skills standards development and implementation, and have significant implications for improving curriculum and instruction in CTE.
Jorge Gaytan sought to determine the perceptions held by high school CTE administrators with respect to the characteristics of teachers entering and remaining in the profession, and characteristics of schools that have been successful in recruiting and retaining CTE teachers. The theoretical framework guiding the study was based on literature and research surrounding teaching standards, and teacher recruitment and retention. The following research questions were posited for the study: (a) What are the perceptions held by high school business education department chairpersons regarding the characteristics of individuals entering the business education teaching profession? (b) What are the perceptions held by high school business education department chairpersons regarding the characteristics of individuals remaining in the business education teaching profession? and (c) What are the perceptions held by high school business education department chairpersons regarding the characteristics of high schools that have been successful in recruiting and retaining business education teachers? The study’s findings can assist practitioners and other stakeholders by providing a foundation to address issues pertinent to teacher recruitment and retention in the field. Gaytan offers several recommendations for policy and future research.
JoHyun Kim and Debra Bragg investigated the effect of dual and articulated credit on college readiness and retention in community colleges. The study was well grounded conceptually in the literature and influenced by the work of Astin in the development of the theoretical framework. The research was based on the Input-Environment-Outcome (I-E-O) model that is comprised of three major components: Input variables, environment variables, and outcome variables. The central research question posited was: Are dual credit hours and articulated credit hours earned significant predictors of students’ placement in remedial courses and college level credit hours earned, controlling for student gender, high school percentile rank, Tech Prep participation, and high school course-taking? The study’s theory, findings, and implications are especially significant for practice with the contemporary emphasis on dual and articulated credit between high schools and community colleges.
In summary, Issue 2 focuses on enhancing the capacity for conducting CTE research and an emerging national research agenda, gender and mentoring relationalships, the efficacy of state and national skills standards, and dual and articulated credit associated with college readiness and retention. These diverse but complementary research problems present a foundation for thinking about and identifying alternative solutions, expanding the theoretical knowledge base, and improving practice in the field. Accordingly, the studies presented in Issue 2 have succeeded in contributing to CTE in these ways.