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Federal Legislation Impact on Vocational Education

Federal legislation is an important element of the history of vocational education. This paper examines the literature pertaining to why it is important for vocational educators to be knowledgeable about federal laws impacting upon their field.

Federal Legislation and Vocational Education

There are several reasons why it is important for the vocational educator to know about legislation that impacts upon his or her teaching specialty. First, as has been pointed out by May (1987), vocational education, throughout history, has reflected societal needs. In this regard, Morton and Cross (1985) reported that it is often through legislation that education in general and vocational education in particular is helped to improve in terms of better meeting societal needs.

In other words, educators need to know about the law because it informs them that certain needs exist and ways to meet these needs. This information, in turn, helps them to provide better quality education and so better meet the needs.

For example, Public Law 94142 requires that vocational educators are to provide input into the placement and programming of students into special programs. The Vocational Education Act of 1984 emphasizes supplemental services for special students within the mainstream rather than separate vocational programs. The impact of these laws is that they have made it essential for vocational educators to understand the process whereby a student can become eligible for special services.

Until such laws were passed, special needs students (adults, adolescents, and children) often did not get the full attention they needed to make sure they were sufficiently skilled to make them viable for employment. Thus, this legislation served societal needs by mandating improved processes in the system of vocational education.

Sometimes legislation can be used to help vocational educators ensure that their efforts at occupational tr...

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Federal Legislation Impact on Vocational Education. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 12:48, February 20, 2017, from