JITE v40n2 - From the Editor - Professional Passion

Journal of Industrial Teacher Education
Volume 40, Number 2 • Winter 2003


Professional Passion

At a recent professional meeting, I was inspired by the personal commitment of one of the leaders in our field. His zeal for preparing high-caliber industrial and technical education teachers is a characteristic that we all must exhibit. Too often we witness educators doing their job with little or no emotion. However, seeing this industrial teacher educator with emotion and excitement in his facial expressions, gestures, and vocal inflection while talking about his students was uplifting.

So how does this emotional excitement for industrial teacher education relate to the publication of the Journal? While the objectives of the Journal are to provide a venue for research in the field, to stimulate discussion within the profession, and establish harmony for industrial teacher education, all of these actions are in vain if we are not producing high-caliber teachers and teacher educators. Motivating industrial education teachers and industrial teacher educators requires passionate, emotional, and stimulating faculty members. To achieve these objectives, we must have faculty members with a zeal and passion for the profession. Without this professional passion, we may as well turn off the lights in our labs and go home.

I have used the term "professional passion" to describe the excitement and motivation noted above. So what is professional passion? Friedman (1993) first utilized the expression in her examination of how external consulting can stimulate academic spirit. The American Heritage Dictionary (2000) defined professional as "showing great skill; expert; conforming to standards" (p. 660), and passion as "a powerful emotion; boundless enthusiasm" (p. 606). So for my purpose, professional passion is the genuine and skillful exhibiting of boundless enthusiasm and emotion for the field of industrial teacher education.

Professional passion is not often identified or recognized by teacher education institutions; most of the faculty discussions center upon publications, research projects, funding opportunities, or committee assignments. While all of these items are noteworthy, without a zeal for the profession, what is the long-term benefit for the profession of these notable activities and what type of role model are the faculty members providing their students? Students, both undergraduate and graduate, can identify with and are drawn to faculty members who have professional passion, and not just superficial enthusiasm.

As faculty members, if we are to encourage and mentor graduate students on conducting and publishing research, presenting conceptual papers, or assuming leadership roles, we must exhibit professional passion. Our professional passion must be much more than just an occasional positive comment; it must be a way of doing business. As in my observation, this leader did not have an on-off switch for his professional passion; his professional passion was genuine and constant.

Now back to my question related to professional passion and the Journal. By their zeal, excitement, and boundless enthusiasm, industrial teacher educators will have graduate students eager to conduct research, stimulate discussion within the field, and assume leadership roles promoting harmony in the profession. These new professionals will contribute to the scholarly work of the Journal and the overall success of our profession as a whole and more specially NAITTE. Our professional passion will determine the future of our profession.

As you read through this issue of the Journal, self-assess your professional passion and look into the eyes of your teacher education majors. You will see their excitement, and hopefully you will transform this emotion into a genuine and skillful exhibiting of boundless enthusiasm and emotion for the field of industrial teacher education.

In This Issue

This issue of the Journal presents four articles that focus on evaluation and job satisfaction in the industrial teacher education arena. W.J. Haynie, III, examines the delayed retention learning of students at North Carolina State University based on multiple-choice and matching examinations. Haynie postulates that providing a pre-test to students increases their retention of the material presented.

James P. Greenan and Mingchung Wu present their research focused on mathematical achievement. This study examined the effects of generalizable mathematic instructional intervention on career and technical education students from Indiana. Greenan and Wu conclude that providing students with the described intervention will increase the students' mathematical achievement.

Richard W. Zinser provides readers the findings of his university plastics program evaluation. Zinser surveyed the plastics industry to identify which university courses addressed their company's needs. His findings suggest that technical educators must stay in touch with their clients.

Ernest W. Brewer and Jama McMahan-Landers provide this issue's fourth article. Their work examines the job satisfaction of industrial teacher educators. Brewer and McMahan-Landers note that the job satisfaction of industrial teacher educators is similar to the job satisfaction of university faculty from other disciplines.

NAITTE President, Roger B. Hill, ponders NAITTE's future in the "At Issue" piece. Hill describes three generations of industrial teacher educators who have served as leaders in NAITTE. Hill notes how the organization is responding to its current membership needs and suggests steps for its future success.

Robert T. Howell provides readers with his insight into Skill Wars: Winning the Battle of Productivity and Profit by Edward E. Gordon. Gordon's work details this nation's shortage of a skilled workforce and provides his insight into how this problem has developed. Howell notes that Gordon stresses the need for technical education in this country and provides readers with an overview of Gordon's approaches.

Following this book review is the Journal's "Bits and Pieces" section that contains information regarding submitting manuscripts to the Journal and how to become a member of NAITTE.



Friedman, N.S. (1993). Getting the best of both worlds. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 58, 53-58.

The American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.). (2000). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Tracy Gilmore