1. Do you think that current curriculum planners are adequately using community-related data in determining curriculum needs? What are some of the differences you have observed with respect to curriculum planning for academic versus vocational programs?
As a test of that idea that curriculum planners in vocational education would use community data to determine curriculum needs, since the author is not currently involved with an educational institution, an Internet search was undertaken to see whether and to what extent that was actually true. The Internet site of Los Angeles Trade Tech College reveals that some serious thought has been given to developing career opportunities for young people. One part of the site is devoted to health-care training. The fact that community realities have been considered is reflected in a discussion of future program changes:
Vocational Nursing and Health Occupations will need to adapt to many conditions in the next ten years, including changes in technology and teaching methodologies, curriculum development, student academic preparation, recruitment strategies and facilities. Due to the increasing numbers of multicultural and ethnically diverse students enrolling in the program, there is an ever-increasing need for bilingual instructors. (LATTC, 2005)
The anticipation that language will be a core issue in future vocational-ed needs is consistent with the idea that community realities have been taken into account. However, the history of public education has been that the bilingual issue was addressed mainly in academic rather than real-world, practical terms. As the practical effects of non-English speakers are visited on the business community, as well as on those who want to find employment in it, more attention and public resources will have to be devoted to meeting language needs in instruction. Currently, needs have been articulated, but resources are not yet in place.
2. Given what y...