JITE v37n2 - From the Editor - Opening Doors

Volume 37, Number 2
Winter 2000

Opening Doors

We are at a beginning, a beginning of a new year, century, and millennium. It is a good time to plan the future and to dream of the best possible goals for our profession. Industrial educators have been practicing for over a century, by now, and, based upon our years of experience, we should be looking confidently towards the kind of future we wish to create during the next century.

One of the fascinating aspects of industrial education is the excitement that is generated by the ever changing nature and role of the various fields of industrial education. As technology and society evolves and reconfigures, those of us who teach and train in order to meet the basic technological literacy and specific job skill needs of our society have always had a challenge to be flexibly adaptive to the twists and turns of the needs of society and the technologies that we choose to create and use. Today's practitioners of industrial education are teaching and training in ways and with content that is very different from what our predecessors taught at the beginning of the twentieth century. Our technologies have evolved and multiplied, becoming entangled in each other as, for example, genetics and the manipulation of genes lead us deeply into biotechnology; lasers provide us with new tools to communicate, manufacture, and construct the world we are creating; and widespread use of computers has expanded the possible ways in which we can teach and train. These changes and more have challenged us to look beyond traditional conceptions of curriculum and instruction.

Changes in our population and the roles of the diverse members of our society also lead us to new ways of working and interacting with each other. One hundred years ago women and minorities did not enjoy the rights that they have now and served in limited roles. Their roles and responsibilities in society have changed radically and will continue to evolve effecting change in the greater society as well as in industrial education.

We are poised to take advantage of these changes and to adapt to them if we can maintain an open door and open minds to the possibilities presented to us. Industrial educators can lead the way into the future by fostering an open atmosphere of accepting change and diversity within our conceptualization of industrial education, the roles which a diverse population of industrial educators can fulfil, and a variety of forms of industrial education. Embracing change can strengthen our profession, if we plan well.

In this issue are articles representing the breadth of industrial education. School to work transition is taken up by Wentling and Waight. Wash, Lovedahl, and Paige explore the concept of accepting change in populations of technology teachers prepared with traditional and alternative programs. Innovation in industry as intrapreneurial programs in manufacturing firms are reported by Marcus, Teslowski, and Isbell. Work environments for an aging and increasingly diverse work force are explored by Kupritz. There are two comments written by Lewis which deal with acceptance of diversity of thought and change in industrial education. Two book reviews offering ideas for the future are presented by Cardon and Gillespie, and Flesher discusses an issue related to HRD. Finally, the outstanding manuscript award winners from the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, Volume 36 are featured.