Many teacher questions pertain to such routine administrative matters as how they are to be given the time required to adapt their lesson plans to the career education concept, how they are to acquire the knowledge and experience required for their participation in career education, and how and where they can obtain career education materials for use in the classroom. Those questions that cost money are the easiest to answer. If both school administrators and the general public are convinced of a concept's importance, they will provide the money as rapidly as possible. The hard questions are those related to the teacher's professional commitment to the concept. It is those answers which will determine how much the teacher is willing to give of himself or herself in converting the concept into reality.
- What is this career education I keep hearing about? Everybody talks about it but nobody tells me how to do it. The statements I read about it are often contradictory. It is hoped that this volume will have contributed to alleviating the how to do it concern. Concepts of career education differ widely among its advocates. For some, it is vocational education in a new guise; for others, it encompasses all education. For some, it is for the non-college-bound; and for still others, it encompasses college, adult learning, industrial training, and all of the formal and informal learnings concerning productive activity throughout a lifetime. If the conception is too narrow, it will change little; if too broad, it becomes devoid of meaning. The current outpouring of writings about career education will undoubtedly lead eventually to a more coherent synthesis. At the same time, the teacher should never expect a blueprint. The career education which fits the teacher and the class will be that curriculum which emerges from the teacher's perceptions and efforts to give reality to the concepts.
- U.S. Office of Education priorities come and go with the political winds. Why should I revise my whole teaching approach only to see career education superseded shortly by a new panacea? If career education were really new and only an Office of Education invention, one would be wise to adopt a "wait and see" attitude before making a major investment of time and effort. However, what is currently called career education is only a modest extension, though a general endorsement, of trends which have been under way for at least a decade. It has grown out of concern for the demonstrated difficulty American youth experience in making the transition from the world of school to the world of work. It is a culmination of more than ten years of conceptualization, research, and experiment.
- My classroom day is already crowded with subject matter and skills which must be taught. What shall I throw out if I must bring career education into the classroom as well? Throw out nothing. Teachers have been deluged with instructions to include concepts of environmental education, drug education, sex education, citizenship education, etc., and know these cannot all be accomplished in the time available. If career education represents an addition to this list of subject matter to be covered, the concept has not been clarified. The point must be once again emphasized. Career education is at once an objective and a method for all education. Using career interest as a vehicle and a motivator for knowledge already purveyed and tapping learning resources outside the classroom must increase the productivity of instructional hours or it should not be undertaken.
- My teaching goals are much broader than simply preparing students to work. How can I teach career implications without detracting from other worthy educational objectives? Many teachers are disturbed by statements of one or two advocates of career education that all education should be career education. They are reminded of past pronouncements that all education is progressive education. All education should not be concentrated around the goals of career education. Preparation for making a living is only one of a number of worthy goals of American education. Much of the work today's students can look forward to doing will carry no economic rewards whatsoever.
- With the current uncertainty regarding the future nature of occupations, the dehumanizing nature of some work, and the probability of continuing high youth unemployment, is career education's emphasis on education as preparation for work a wise direction for American education to take? Some find it anachronistic that education should raise the priority of employability and productivity among its objectives just when, as they perceive it, work is of declining importance in the economy and in life. They misread the signals. Leisure has increased slowly as the fruits of productivity have been divided between higher incomes and more time off the job. But the threat is that productivity will decline, not accelerate. Much of the rising productivity which allowed the choice between income and leisure was a product of the transfer from low-productivity agriculture to high-productivity manufacturing. The transfer of labor to service industries has the opposite effect. The four-day week is a repackaging of the standard forty hours, not a decrease of work time. Increased time spent in transportation to and from work rarely has leisure value.