Chapter

Vocational Education

Kathryn M. Neckerman

in Schools Betrayed

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226569604
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226569628 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226569628.003.0006
Vocational Education

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This chapter follows the Chicago public schools as they constructed—and reconstructed—their system of vocational education, and shows how the consequences differed for young blacks and immigrants. In the early years of the twentieth century, Chicago's public schools took on a new function: they began explicitly to prepare students for the labor market. The school system's new vocational curricula blended academic education with commercial and technical training, and were particularly attractive for students from modest backgrounds, as so many black and immigrant students were. For educators, these curricula offered a way to retain and motivate students. At the turn of the century, Chicago's public schools did very little to train students for jobs. The local high schools offered a handful of vocational classes such as surveying and bookkeeping, but their curriculum was largely classical, with an emphasis on Latin, Greek, and the humanities.

Keywords: Chicago Public Schools; vocational education; blacks; immigrants; labor market; academic education; technical training

Chapter.  7127 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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