The White Hall School Board in a recent work session heard reports on potential vocational programs. We hope the directors take a serious look at vocational programs following a conversation with the service manager for an area car/truck dealership.
The manager was bemoaning the dearth of vocational programs in area schools.
“A salesman needs a customer, a piece of paper, pen and a financing institution to do his or her job, selling a car or truck,” the manager observed. “However, the technician who keeps those cars and trucks running has to take six to 10 refresher courses a year to stay current with the technology changes.”
The days of a “shade tree mechanic” that could repair a 1948 DeSoto, a 1952 Ford or 1958 Chevrolet Impala with a wrench and screw driver are over, the manager said. A few still exist, he added, but more and more they must depend on electronic diagnostic tools.
Just about anyone who has ever been a teenager will remember wondering during a boring lecture in school what the practical application of that lesson might be. The question is answered by project-based learning, which is picking up steam across the nation. By focusing on integrated use of technology in the classroom, students can be prepared for the workplace. With project-based learning, students understand better how they might use new skills and knowledge in the future. That means teaching the habits and skills they need in the future, from showing up on time to teamwork to self-motivation to becoming adept with technology.
These are skills tomorrow’s employers will be looking for today.
While preparing students for college is very important, not every student needs a four-year degree.
However, they will need to know how to succeed in their jobs and careers beyond high school.
Project-based learning integrated with technology offers promise for creating the workforce of tomorrow.