Schooling in the Workplace
Which non-American education systems best prepare young people for fulfilling jobs and successful adult lives? And what can the United States—where far too many young people currently enter adulthood without adequate preparation for the twenty-first-century job market—learn, adopt, and adapt from these other systems? In Schooling in the Workplace, Nancy Hoffman addresses these questions head on, arguing that “the smartest and quickest route to a wide variety of occupations for the majority of young people in the successful countries—not a default for failing students—is a vocational program that integrates work and learning.” As she notes, the programs that successfully integrate work and learning all share a fundamental commitment to helping young people find successful careers: “The purpose is not ‘college for all,’ as in the United States today, but rather to provide the education and training young people need to prepare for a career or calling.” Schooling in the Workplace explores the vocational education programs in a wide range of countries, focusing in rich and useful detail on six in particular: Australia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland. Framing these discussions, however, is a persistent focus on American circumstances and challenges. Far more than a survey of six “foreign” programs, this is a book prompted by and organized around the policy and practical challenges facing the United States.
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