Taking career and technical education beyond the classroom
by PRP Group, on 11/13/2023
Purposeful and meaningful work is important to all of us. It provides a sense of belonging and connection. All K-12 education prepares students to contribute to their communities through work, but in a career and technical education program or school, we work toward that goal more explicitly. Here, internships and other work-based educational opportunities are important for providing students the opportunity to progress to competence.
Teachers can provide students with all the conceptual knowledge there is, but a work-based experience puts that conceptual knowledge into context in a way that’s not possible in the classroom. Being in a veterinarian’s office, for example, a student will learn from real cases, take direction from professionals, see them taking in information verbally or textually to make decisions, and manage a team to meet a goal. That leads to questioning why they held certain misconceptions about the job and what all these new experiences mean. By discussing those kinds of metacognitive questions with a mentor, they begin to develop new skill sets.