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Vocational Education

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The Center for Occupational Research and Development and the Agency for Instructional Television, in cooperation with a consortium of state departments of education, are developing a series of teaching aids on high technology for use in vocational-education classes at the high-school level.

The instructional materials will include videotapes, manuals for students and teachers, and 156 "hands-on" laboratory exercises organized into 13 modules. Each module will contain about 300 hours of instruction on technical concepts and principles as they apply to mechanical, thermal, electrical, and fluid systems.

At least 60 percent of the instructional time will be devoted to laboratory exercises based on the Unified Technical Concepts Program, which was developed by the center and now is being used by postsecondary vocational schools.

The project, supported by 35 educational agencies, is expected to cost about $2.5 million. The first six modules will be available for classroom use in September 1985, and the remaining modules will be completed by the following year.


Doctoral candidates at Pennsylvania State University are involved in a project to help vocational-education instructors improve their teaching techniques.

The program, which began in 1981, is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and attempts to focus on the vocational teacher's interaction with disadvantaged students. Last fall, four teams of doctoral students were assigned to work with teachers at four regional vocational-technical schools.

The teams of doctoral students, who were trained during the summer, spent one day a week during a 15-week period observing and talking to individual teachers to evaluate their techniques and to present alternatives.

The inservice training is offered at no cost to the schools that choose to participate.


School officials at the Minuteman Regional Vocational-Technical School in Lexington, Mass., have begun the second phase of a project to build a hotel and restaurant complex that will be used both as a training ground for vocational students and as a commercial business.

Two hotel corporations have submitted bids on the project, which would serve as a training center for vocational students in the region and for students at nearby colleges and universities.

The proposed complex will include 200 hotel rooms and conference rooms accommodating up to 1,000 seats; it will offer students an opportunity to learn about 100 different service occupations connected with the hotel and restaurant businesses, school officials said.

In 1982, the Minuteman vocational-technical school set a national precedent when the McDonald's Corporation opened a student-run fast-food restaurant on the school's grounds.--sgf

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