R e po rt on
Education and the Workforce
Workforce Education and Workplace Analysis Adult Education
Career Counseling and Life Skills
Developing the Educational Workforce Index Resources
inside back cover
The Collegeâ€™s Many Connections to the Workforce
n our efforts to deepen and extend knowledge about the formation and utilization of human capabilities, we become directly involved in what happens with adults as they pursue careers and navigate the vagaries of the workplace. This mission encompasses learners of many ages, and not just the K-12 population that people often think of as the focus of colleges of education. We are actively involved with adult learners and on-the-job education occurring in the workplace. In addition, faculty across the College are researching both formal and informal adult educational opportunities as well as career counseling and workforce preparation opportunities. It is becoming more and more important to understand and improve connections between education and the workforce. The current economic turmoil has increased unemployment and the need for the labor force to develop new skills. Displaced workers need well-designed and strategic opportunities to learn new skills to be competitive in the job market. Even if workers retain their positions, technology is changing at such a fast pace that workers face an increasing need to develop new skills over the span of their careers. A good example can be found in the large number of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the attendant need to translate military experiences into employable skills.
In this publication, we present our facultyâ€™s research dealing with the development and utilization of human capabilities in a wide variety of workforce settings. As a comprehensive college of education, we are also positioned to offer programs that provide actual educational opportunities for adults to grow their skills. For example, we offer a very popular yearlong distance education program that prepares teachers, counselors, medical personnel, and others to earn a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. The College is also home to the Professional Personnel Development Center, a state-funded center that prepares tradespeople like carpenters to become certified teachers who teach their trade in high schools and career and technical centers. As a college with a large and award-winning teacher-preparation program, we also contribute directly to the teacher workforce in the United States and abroad. We are seriously committed to preparing outstanding teachers who will enter the workforce and transform the field. The need for outstanding teachers is especially critical in developing nations and within at-risk communities here in the United States.
We are actively involved with adult learners and on-the-job education occuring in the workplace. In addition, faculty across the College are researching both formal and informal adult educational opportunities as well as career counseling and workforce preparation opportunities.
We are proud of our efforts to strengthen ties between education and the workforce. Whether the focus is on research, teaching, or outreach, our faculty has a proven commitment in this area, and I hope you enjoy reading about what we are accomplishing.
David H. Monk
Workforce Education and Workplace Analysis Thereâ€™s a widespread myth that workforce education is an avenue for people who arenâ€™t competent enough to attend college. Edwin L. Herr, distinguished professor emeritus of education and associate dean emeritus, is eager to dispel that myth. Herr points out that graduates of workforce education are among the nationâ€™s most proficient problem solvers. Construction workers must understand engineering concepts far beyond the skill of handling a backhoe; mechanics must be able to manipulate computer-controlled automobiles while still recognizing when spark plugs, belts, and hoses need to be replaced.
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“People who graduate from workforce education programs are the glue that holds society together,” he says. “These are the people who create and maintain our infrastructure.” With their unique combination of skills and knowledge, these professionals earn excellent incomes. Furthermore, their jobs tend to be more secure than others. “In economic downturns, these professionals are often the last ones standing,” says Herr.
People who graduate from workforce education programs are the glue that holds society together. —Edwin L. Herr
Effective Career and Technical Education You might conclude that automotive-technology students, with clouded goggles and greased hands as classroom attire, are hands-on learners. “But you’d be wrong,” says Mark Threeton, assistant professor of workforce education. “At least, not all auto-tech students are hands-on learners.” Threeton’s research focuses on the learning styles of career and technical education (CTE) students and how to meet their individual education needs via authentic experiential learning. “Educators typically teach the way they were taught,” he says, “but learning is not a one-size-fits-all process.” To examine the preferred learning styles of automotive-technology students, Threeton identified three public postsecondary institutions in central Pennsylvania that offer automotive technology as a program of study and randomly selected students from these institutions to participate in a study.
Threeton’s results showed that no single learning style is best for all auto-tech students. Specifically, he found that nearly 40 percent of students prefer to learn through a style of teaching known as the accommodating style, which includes the use of open-ended problems, student presentations, and hands-on simulations. The fewest number of students—just over 16 percent—learn best through the assimilating style, which includes the use of lectures and presentations, demonstrations, and student readings. “Based on my results, it is important that career and technical education professionals consider the learning styles of the students in their courses, rather than classifying them based on assumptions or their own biases toward learning,” says Threeton. Most states have established clear guidelines regarding the effective preparation and certification of CTE teachers. Robert Clark, associate professor of workforce education, is researching specific aspects of CTE administrator preparation, both within Pennsylvania and nationally, to see if similar guidelines can be established regarding administrator preparation. He is currently collecting data for a national study of CTE administrator preparation. Clark explains, “We hope to determine the type of administrator preparation programs that exist for career and technical administrators and to determine if they are aligned with any set of national standards, such as the National Institute of School Leadership standards.”
Educators typically teach the way they were taught, but learning is not a one-size-fits-all process. —Mark Threeton 6
Career and Technical Education Directors Academy
nce a year, the Professional Personnel Development Center (PPDC) in the Penn State College of Education hosts a professional development meeting for career and technical education administrators.
The Directors Academy is designed exclusively for the executive directors of career and technology centers, vocational technical schools, comprehensive schools, and state correctional institutions in central Pennsylvania. The Academy is a unique professional development opportunity for these administrators as it provides an opportunity to network and brainstorm with other administrators who face similar issues in their own centers. The 2010 Academy saw discussion on understanding, monitoring, and encouraging instructional strategies that result in increased instructor focus, increased student time on task, and increased student achievement in career and technical education programming.
Some components of the jobs performed by CTE administrators differ from those of traditional administrators, so Clark wants to research the differences in each state between CTE administrator preparation and traditional administrator preparation for positions such as principal and superintendent. He is surveying state directors of career and technical education to collect data in their respective states and asking their opinions on what CTE administrator preparation should be for future school leaders. In a separate study, Clark is researching a related issue specific to Pennsylvania. Currently, CTE administrative director certification candidates are required to complete a rigorous course of study, which includes an internship at a career and technology center. The internship operates on an apprentice model that requires certification candidates to complete a specific number of competencies related to administrative areas in a career and technical center. Clark explains, â€œThese competencies were developed by the Workforce Education and Development program at Penn State but have not been validated by the field.â€? Clark is collaborating with the two other CTE director-preparation institutions in Pennsylvaniaâ€”at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Temple University. The researchers are collecting data on the opinions of CTE directors on the validity of the internship competencies and rating their importance and priority for internship candidates to address. Although many see a disconnect between higher education and career and technical education, there are many similar goals, the most important being the development of a skilled workforce that meets current demand.
Many veterans have very strong technical skills from their training and experience received while in the military, and NSF would like to help colleges and universities capitalize on that to help develop the nation’s skilled workforce. —Donald Heller
For a number of years now, there has been a documented need for more individuals pursuing careers in engineering and science. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently launched a program to encourage post-9/11 military veterans to consider careers in these fields. Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) has received a grant in the amount of $199,656 to design an evaluation of the NSF’s Military Veterans Engineering Education Initiative. Some 100 colleges and universities will receive NSF pilot grants totaling about $150 million to develop programs and services aimed at easing the transition of veterans into science and engineering disciplines. These pilot grants are intended to help the postsecondary institutions meet the unique needs of military veterans who return to college or enroll for the first time.
CSHE’s evaluation is expected to help NSF and the participating institutions determine which types of programs and services are the most successful at helping returning veterans. Co-principal investigators on the project are Donald Heller, professor of education and director of CSHE, and Robert Hendrickson, professor of education and CSHE senior scientist. Other investigators are Kimberly Griffin, assistant professor and CSHE research associate; Claire Gilbert, CSHE graduate assistant; and Theodore Timmerman III, coordinator of veterans outreach in Penn State’s Office of Veterans Programs. “We’re very excited to receive this grant,” says Heller. “Many veterans have very strong technical skills from their training and experience received while in the military, and NSF would like to help colleges and universities capitalize on that to help develop the nation’s skilled workforce.”
Vocational II Certificates: Bright Job Prospects in Career and Technical Education
areer and technical education (CTE) is perhaps the fastest-growing sector at today’s secondary schools, trade schools, and community colleges. Traditionally known as vocational technical education— or, more affectionately, vo-tech—CTE prepares students to enter a wide spectrum of hands-on careers such as graphic imaging technology, dental assisting, computer networking, robotics technology, and automotive technology. Good opportunities exist nationally for individuals who want to prepare young people and mid-career workers for careers in the rapidly changing global economy. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry identifies CTE instructors as a “high-priority occupation” across the state.
Opportunities are expected to grow as schools develop new career programs and CTE teachers retire from more than 300 high schools, 85 regional technology centers, and numerous postsecondary education institutions in Pennsylvania alone. “CTE teaching is a rewarding but oftenoverlooked career pathway,” says Cynthia Pellock, associate director of the Professional Personnel Development Center (PPDC). “Most individuals who pursue teaching their occupation to others tell us they love their new careers.” In fact, a 2005 study of teachers pursuing the Vocational Instructional II (Voc II) certificate at Penn State between 1978 and 2001 found that 77.5 percent of CTE teachers remained in teaching at least three years.
Penn State is one of only three institutions in Pennsylvania that issue Voc II certification. PPDC, based in the University’s Workforce Education and Development program, provides competency-based teacher education (CBTE) and other services that lead to the Voc II. The Center works with CTE teachers in 30 counties in central Pennsylvania. Content-area competence is a rigorous requirement for CTE teachers. “Not only do these teachers need to complete a learning program in their subject matter, they also must use their knowledge in the workforce prior to entering the classroom as a student teacher,” says Pellock.
Workforce Analysis and Workplace Policies The College’s David L. Passmore and Rose M. Baker conduct ongoing regional workforce analyses in Penn State’s Workforce Education and Development Initiative (wedi.psu.edu). The WED Initiative is a research alliance between the College of Education and Penn State Outreach established in 2003. It was created to support the development of workforces in Pennsylvania and beyond, primarily by using Penn State analytical resources. Passmore, professor of workforce education and development, and Baker, assistant professor of workforce education and development, continuously assess the regional workforce for employers, industry partnerships, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. The WED Initiative frequently conducts analysis about issues that are the focus of vigorous discussion and public attention. “Debates about the desirability of policy alternatives frequently are based on theory or politics. One role of the WED Initiative is to offer data to help resolve these debates,” Baker notes.
The WED Initiative crunches copious quantities of data, which allows Passmore and Baker to model, forecast, and analyze workforce trends down to the zip code level. The resulting data yield insights across an array of topics and issues: the effects of closing of the Willow Grove (Pennsylvania) Naval Air Station, the competitiveness of powder metallurgy, commercial sports, teen pregnancy, green jobs, youth employment, and long-term health care, for example. The WED Initiative also publishes the Economic and Workforce Brief series (PSUBrief.notlong.com)—one-page, no-math, no-jargon macroeconomic reports about how gains or losses of jobs in an industry affect total jobs, payroll, and property taxes. One WED Initiative report that attracted national attention in 2010 detailed the potential that Pennsylvanians face for having their jobs moved out of the United States, or offshored. The report, titled Susceptibility of Pennsylvania Service-Producing Occupations to Offshoring (train.ed.psu.edu/ offshore), indicates (among other things) that Pennsylvanians employed in service-producing occupations are at a higher risk of having their jobs offshored than similar workers throughout the United States. Jobs being offshored does not necessarily mean a decrease in the number of jobs, though.
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“It seems like a paradox that offshoring of jobs can occur at the same time as the number of jobs increases; however, modern economies engage in what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpter described as ‘creative destruction,’” Passmore explains. “For instance, offshoring made information technology hardware 10 to 30 percent cheaper than it would have been otherwise. The price decrease translated into higher productivity growth and a faster real growth in gross domestic product of 0.3 percent per year from 1995 to 2002. Growth in productivity and output improved the competitive position of the country, which, in turn, added jobs to the economy.” Often, too, people who lose their jobs to offshoring must be retrained in a new profession or undertake professional development to extend their skills. Shedding so-called low-value jobs—such as back-office operations, phone centers, and data entry—provides opportunities to export our own high-value products and services, carrying along with it the possibility of creating high-value employment serving those higher-quality markets. This affects the demand for education and training.
Debates about the desirability of policy alternatives frequently are based on theory or politics. One role of the WED Initiative is to offer data to help resolve
“Career and technology educators,” Baker says, “could focus on providing services for high-value jobs to help minimize the risk of being involved in the destructive side of ‘creative destruction’ of jobs.” Again paradoxically, though, they observe, that notable among the jobs with greater potential for offshoring are educators, as the rise in distance education and online learning has increased their offshorability.
these debates. —Rose Baker 11
The changes affecting the workforce that Passmore and Baker are documenting are creating other areas of study for their colleagues. News of corruption scandals in political and corporate circles has spotlighted the importance of ethics teaching and training. Ethics training provides current and future professionals an opportunity to discuss ethical issues that might arise in the workplace and helps participants become better prepared to face touchy situations. As American society becomes increasingly diverse, instructors of ethics courses must consider an emerging dimension. “Given that a significant number of the students in any given class may be international, instructors are facing new challenges,” notes Judith A. Kolb, associate professor of workforce education and development. “The issues are magnified by the variety of cultural backgrounds and opinions represented in the students.” Kolb distinguishes between relativistic and universalistic approaches: • Relativism assumes that beliefs, behaviors, and ethical decisions are culture-specific. A class focus on relativistic values, for example, might ask students to identify issues and options in specific ethical situations and then discuss how one would go about making a decision. The goal is for students to realize the range of available behaviors and the ramifications of each choice and to understand why others might view the situation differently.
• Universal values apply regardless of the situation. For example, students might examine a code of conduct of their profes sion, consider some sample situations, and then apply the code to determine the appropriate course of action. But the problem with universal standards and codes of behavior, explains Kolb, is that “they can be vague and open to interpretation. Thus, there is relativism in deciding how to apply a standard or code. Students may agree, for example, that professionals should present their credentials fairly but disagree about what that means.”
Cultural differences may also influence behaviors and perceptions in groups and teams. “Nonverbal communication, in particular, is often misinterpreted when people from several cultures work together,” says Kolb, who is author of a soon-to-be-released book from HRD Press on small-group facilitation. The book’s content is designed around an eight-element framework that provides support for practical suggestions, tools, strategies, and techniques. “The job of the facilitator is to help a group discuss issues and accomplish tasks while maintaining a functional working relationship,” states Kolb. “As groups increasingly become part of the fabric of most organizations, the demand for facilitators has increased along with a need for groups to do more with less time and fewer resources.”
Professional Personnel Development Center
ince 1976, the Professional Personnel Development Center (PPDC), in partnership with the Workforce Education and Development program in the College of Education, has offered Vocational Education I and II teaching certification programs for skilled workers who want to teach their particular skill in career and technical education (CTE) centers. PPDC provides certification for CTE educators in a number of occupations, including agriculture, forestry, masonry and other building trades, accounting, clerical trades, health care fields, and drafting.
Roy Beman ’05 Voc II says, “I enjoy working with our young people, and I take tremendous satisfaction in helping them identify their career goals and in enabling them to capitalize on their dreams.” In addition to the Vocational Education I and II certificates, the PPDC also prepares individuals for Pennsylvania certifications as vocational administrative directors, vocational supervisors, and cooperative education coordinators. The Center also offers continuing technical and professional development to CTE teachers and administrators and assists schools in developing their CTE curriculum and programs.
Students in the PPDC include new teachers hired by CTE schools and programs, educators seeking professional enhancement or advancement, and preservice individuals who either are studying part-time or are enrolled in the more traditional full-time baccalaureate degree programs.
PPDC is one of three centers in Pennsylvania funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to provide teacher education and certification, as well as administrator certification for career and technical educators in the state. Similar centers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Temple University provide these services in the western and eastern regions of the state, respectively.
These students are all highly skilled, needing at least 4,000 paid hours of work documented in their respective fields to qualify for the program. However, they find new satisfaction in sharing their knowledge with others.
Richard Walter, associate professor of workforce education and development, is director of the PPDC. He and the PPDC faculty undertake a research agenda that is supported in part by the PPDC.
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Nurse Aide Training: Teaching the Educator
here is a strong need for certified nursing assistants or nurse aides throughout the state of Pennsylvania. People are living longer, and more people are choosing to use assisted living care rather than long-term care facilities for longer periods of time. People in assisted living care need help with activities of daily living but do not require the more-advanced services of nurses needed by those in long-term care. The people most often found working in assisted living care centers are nurse aides.
The Nurse Aide Training: Teaching the Educator (TTE) Workshop offered through the Professional Personnel Development Center (PPDC) in the College of Education offers sessions throughout the year in which nurses can become certified to teach nurse aide training programs. Nurse aides become certified after a maximum of 120 hours of training in programs offered by career and technical centers and long-term care facilities. The College of Education is helping prepare qualified RNs and LPNs to teach these programs. The four-day workshop is offered once a month, ten months out of the year, in locations all over the state. Says Kim Germino, director of the program, â€œApproximately 200 to 250 nurses earn the credential from our program each year, yet we continue to see an ongoing need for qualified individuals to teach in these programs to train new nurse aides.â€?
the Professional Personnel Development Center offers sessions throughout the year in which nurses can become certified to teach nurse aide training programs.
For more information on the TTE program, please visit the Web site at www.ed.psu.edu/educ/tte
Succession planning and talent management are ways that organizations can focus integrated attention on the long-term change effort required to develop internal talent inside organizations and to focus it on meeting strategic objectives. —William J. Rothwell
William J. Rothwell, professor of workforce education and development,
focuses his research on two topics: (1) the competencies of workplace learning and performance professionals (“the new name for those who conduct training in workplace settings,” he says), and (2) succession planning and talent management.
Rothwell was an architect of the current competency study that defines the field formerly known as employee training and development that now is called workplace learning and performance. He partnered with a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm, Development Dimensions International, to conduct research for the study, titled Mapping the Future (2004). Again in 2008–09, Rothwell involved two Penn State graduate students,
Yi Xue ‘06 M.Ed. and Naseem Sherwani, to interview practitioners
from around the world to update the study and keep it occupationally relevant to the field. That study has served on a continuing basis as the foundation for the new certification program of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development), advancing a growing trend worldwide toward increased professional certification for business trainers.
More recently, Rothwell has examined the need for succession planning and talent-management programs in many industries worldwide. “Two key trends—an aging global workforce coupled with explosive business growth in the Asia-Pacific region—have spurred attention among businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions around the world on ways to meet changing needs for talented people,” says Rothwell. “Developing an organization’s internal talent is a key way to do that. Succession planning and talent management are ways that organizations can focus integrated attention on the long-term change effort required to develop internal talent inside organizations and to focus it on meeting strategic objectives.” Rothwell’s recent books, which often contain original research drawn from organizational settings, include Effective Succession Planning, 4th ed. (2010); Practicing Organization Development, 3rd ed. (2010); The Manager’s Guide to Maximizing Employee Potential (2009); Cases in Government Succession Planning (2008); Working Longer: New Strategies for Managing, Training, and Retaining Older Employees (2008); and Human Resource Transformation: Demonstrating Strategic Leadership in the Face of Future Trends (2008). They share a common focus on ways to address future challenges with an aging global workforce.
Adult Education There is a great need to understand the numerous issues surrounding adult education. Faculty are researching the best methods for teaching adults as well as how technology is helping adults fit both formal and informal education programs into their schedules. A key factor in the increased participation of adults in education and training is the rapid growth of distance education, with its appealing stay-at-home or study-at-work convenience.
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Moore is founding editor of one of the field’s foremost academic sources, The American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE), which is soon to mark its 25th year. Associated with the journal is DEOS (the Distance Education Online Symposium), which, says Moore, “was one of the first, and possibly the first, online networks of professionals and scholars in distance education.” Teaching and learning techniques continue to change, driven more recently by the onset of Web 2.0, which encourages close interaction using features such as social networking. Still, Moore believes that traditional face-to-face education “is essential for the most effective teaching of certain subjects and certain students, and it should be used when it is the most cost-effective, but only then.”
“Not all teaching is best done in a classroom,” says Michael G. Moore, professor of adult education. “It remains the most efficient environment for many young students, but not for most adult learners—and for most adults in many subjects a classroom is not needed at all, with distance learning the preferred option. Fortunately more and more academics and university managers are coming to appreciate this.” Moore is recognized worldwide for his pioneering work in developing the scholarship of distance education, beginning with his 1972 statement of the Theory of Transactional Distance, a much-cited concept that many experts consider to be a pillar of distance-learning scholarship. He was inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association’s Hall of Fame in 2002. He recently was appointed as a senior fellow by the European Distance Education Network.
“Some individuals assume that traditional education is by definition good education. That’s a completely unfounded assumption,” says Moore’s colleague, Melody M. Thompson, associate professor of adult education and expert on quality assurance of distance education. “Traditional education is familiar education, some of which is good—that is, educationally effective—and some of which is quite poor.” Thompson, who co-authored the chapter “Evaluating Distance Education Programs” in Moore’s Handbook of Distance Education, points out that high-quality education, whether at a distance or in residence, depends on four elements of quality: • appropriate course design • skilled and engaged instructors • committed and responsible students • a supportive policy environment
“A weakness in any of these elements will affect the quality of the teaching and learning,” she says. The distance education field has grown so swiftly that policymaking has been a challenge. “In many respects, policy development to date—governmental as well as institutional—has lagged well behind the development of distance programs,” says Thompson, who has done extensive research on institutional policy and evaluation of distance courses. “Ideally,” adds Thompson, “policy development should precede distance education program development. But whether it precedes or follows development, policy is appropriate only if it supports the four elements of quality. Policies that ignore or hinder any of these elements—for example, a federal policy that requires institutional monitoring and reporting for distance education beyond what is required for resident programs, or an institutional policy that does not count an instructor’s online teaching as ‘on load’—are not only counterproductive, but discriminatory.” The Internet has caused a tremendous growth in distance education programs. However, adults are not using the Internet merely for formal learning through organized courses. They are also finding informal learning communities through social networks. Social networks are the water coolers of the 21st century, today’s community centers and village greens, electronic gathering places where people voluntarily meet and share similar interests, needs, or goals.
Susan Land and Priya Sharma, both associate professors of instructional
systems, and their colleagues are exploring how online social networking sites create learning opportunities that are different from those in formal educational settings and how people exchange knowledge and practices in everyday, online spaces. “The communities we are exploring foster networks of weak relational ties solely online, differentiating them from notions of community with sustained history or common heritage,” says Land. Land and Sharma have gathered data from a variety of social networking sites of two primary types: hobbies (e.g., ESPN Fantasy Sports-Basketball) and health social networking (Type II Diabetes). Among the preliminary findings of the research: • The interactions are focused on goals and events of everyday life, where participants mutually engage in co-constructed, practical activity. • Participation in the community is goal-directed around specific intentions of members. • Guidance from more-experienced members can be tacit or explicit, including deliberate attempts to instruct, provide rules-of-thumb, or links to authoritative resources or involving more incidental comments, opinions, or experience sharing. • Interactions can serve to advance or “upskill” participants’ practice by providing alternative concerns, observations, explanations, strategies, or interpretations of a situation. • Data sharing is key for communication about the problem/goal context as well as for defining criteria for successful practice.
Prins and graduate assistants Jean Camberg, Maricela Carrera, Brendaly Drayton, Ramazan Gungor, and Faith Miller have completed the first year of data collection in a three-year project supported by funds from the Spencer Foundation. Early observations include the following: • Many of the study participants have experienced a traumatic event or extremely difficult circumstances such as rape, domestic violence, or foster care. These experiences have shaped their current social interactions, social support networks, and ability to befriend classmates.
Collaborating with Land and Sharma on the project, which is partially funded by the National Science Foundation, are Brian Smith (formerly of Penn State, now dean of continuing education, Rhode Island School of Design) and a team of doctoral students in Instructional Systems. Adults are not only finding social support networks in online communities. Esther Prins, assistant professor of adult education, is looking at how poor women with limited educational attainment use family literacy and adult education programs to construct supportive social networks and how these influence their mental health. Estimates suggest that more than 9 million U.S. adults experience limited literacy and depression, but despite the widespread use of adult education, little is known about its psychosocial effects.
• Regular contact with other women in the same educational program does not necessarily mean they will become friends or support each other. Educators and participants have to actively foster interaction, openness, and mutual support; otherwise, participants may not even have personal conversa tions, particularly in programs with instrumental goals such as preparation for a professional exam. • Most participants have reported that they can confide in and discuss important matters with one or more of their teachers.
Illustrating how educational programs can provide women with the social support needed to cope with life’s struggles, Mariah—a participant whose son has several behavioral disorders—described for the research team what it meant to meet mothers in her situation: “I don’t feel alone any more. I don’t feel like I am the only one that has this child [with] these disorders…It is awesome to know that there [are] other parents out there going through what I am going through…I come in here feeling ‘blah,’ and I go home feeling like a whole other person.”
Estimates suggest that more than 9 million U.S. adults experience limited literacy and depression, but despite the widespread use of adult education, little is known about its psychosocial effects.
Literacy programs are not the only community-based education programs available to adults. Given the state of the economy in recent years, especially the real estate slump, there is clearly a need to better educate people about financial matters. “Many studies have been conducted about the best ways to educate people about finances,” says Elizabeth Tisdell, professor of adult education, “yet few studies have focused on the educational strategies employed by financial educators who work with adult learners in community-based programs.” Tisdell conducted a research project, funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education, in which she and her colleagues, Edward Taylor, professor of adult education, and Karin Sprow, graduate student in adult education, examined how financial literacy educators teach adults from underserved (often minority) populations in community-based settings. The study included the use of a survey and one-on-one interviews that focused on examining educators’ beliefs about teaching, how teachers choose or develop their curricula, which strategies teachers use, and which evaluation methods teachers employ.
Based on 271 surveys and 15 qualitative interviews, the team found that: • financial educators teach by presenting information through multiple means; • they use interactive approaches to teaching; • they emphasize the sharing of stories; and • their approach to culturally responsive pedagogy involves translating information in a manner that is appropriate to the culture of the audience.
“An outcome of this study is that it will contribute to the knowledge base about financial education, and it also will help financial educators develop better strategies that might be culturally responsive and foster transformative learning among the adult learners with whom they work,” says Taylor.
Career Counseling and Life Skills One area often overlooked in discussions about career and adult education is career counseling and, more specifically, the specialized guidance adults living with illness or disabilities may need to find productive careers. For example, many people living with HIV/AIDS continue to face barriers to employment, despite advances in antiretroviral drug therapies. The disease carries a social stigma that underlies employersâ€™ reluctance to hire people with HIV/AIDS.
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Employment discrimination is one of the issues addressed in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, recently unveiled by the Obama administration. The strategy seeks to develop a national plan to combat the disease, calling for coordination among various agencies, including the Department of Labor. The plan asks the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to provide a report regarding employment issues. Liza M. Conyers, associate professor of rehabilitation and human services, headed a Penn State research team that conducted a nationwide survey of more than 2,500 people living with the virus. The study, titled National Working Positive Coalition’s Vocational Development and Employment Needs Survey, yielded several preliminary findings: • People with HIV/AIDS and their service providers have little knowledge of services and laws designed to assist people with disability to return to work. • There may be important health and prevention implications associated with transitions to and from employment that need further investigation. • Only a fraction of those who experienced work-related discrimination reported this discrimination to their employers, legal aid, or the EEOC.
To address some of the needs brought out in the study, Conyers is collaborating with AIDS service providers in New York to help consumers and providers establish networks and services in that state.
She was awarded a Children Youth and Family Consortium Fellowship for 2010–2011 to expand her research in the area of public health. She will be working with the Infectious Disease Physicians at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, as well as the New York State AIDS Institute to continue her research and training in this area. The overarching aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of the impact of employment on individual and public health outcomes for people with HIV/AIDS. The research will also help develop and institute evidence-based practices that will lead to effective prevention of HIV/AIDS and increased opportunities for healthy employment. Deirdre O’Sullivan, assistant professor of rehabilitation and human
services, is looking at how childhood illness may affect the development of positive work behaviors later in life. “Grade school is a time when kids are learning to be on time, manage homework, interact with peers and authority figures, and generally be accountable for their social and work task behaviors,” she says.
O’Sullivan focuses her research on the developmental work personality theory, a model introduced by Erik Erikson, a noted 20th-century psychologist. Erikson pinpointed the grade school years as the competence stage of psychosocial development—or, the “industry-versus-inferiority” stage. Says O’Sullivan, “Children who positively navigate this stage are believed to identify as industrious—compared to children with few opportunities in this stage, who are likely to identify as being non-industrious, or ‘inferior’ to use Erikson’s term.” She adds, “The industrious or inferior identity continues into adulthood and is believed to shape the work identity, or work personality.
“Living with a disability in childhood can shape a person’s work selfconcept. Because these children tend to miss classroom time more regularly,” says O’Sullivan, “they are often not presented with the same opportunities to develop an industrious identity. Time away from school disrupts the developmental stage that fosters peer interaction, interaction with authority figures, and learning to be accountable for behaviors—all important for positive expression of adult work behaviors.” Well-meaning parents and teachers of children with disabilities sometimes focus primarily on safeguards. “Protection can come in many forms,” she says, “including having different standards of expectations for behavior and task completion as a way to accommodate a disability or illness. Having reduced standards of behavioral expectations or no expectations will impact the development of industrious identity.” O’Sullivan and her colleagues conducted preliminary research showing that young adults who had been diagnosed with cancer during the competence stage of development had significantly lower work self-concept compared to young adults whose cancer diagnosis occurred in later developmental periods.
Time away from school disrupts the developmental stage that fosters peer interaction, interaction with authority figures, and learning to be accountable for behaviors—all important for positive expression of adult work behaviors. —Deirdre O’Sullivan 25
Center for the Study of Career Development and Public Policy
olicy is the force that drives education,” notes Edwin L. Herr, referring to countless numbers of education guidelines at national and state levels, some of which have existed for more than a hundred years.
Spencer Niles, along with Herr, are co-directors of the Center for the Study of Career Development and Public Policy at Penn State. Established two years ago, the Center is a clearinghouse for educators, policy makers, and other professionals. It serves as a one-stop shop for persons seeking legislation information, policy statements, and related documents. “Before we established the Center, there was no single resource in the United States for information related to policy toward workforce and career guidelines,” says Niles, who
also serves as head of Penn State’s Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services department. The Center sets up summits for organizations nationwide. “Our role is to create a concrete national discourse,” explains Niles. “Previously, there was no national-level leadership in this area. Our center fills that void.” One of the Center’s functions is to urge Congress on matters of national interest. Items of current interest include reauthorization of the following legislation: the Workforce Investment Act, the School to Work Opportunities Act, and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act. “The Carl Perkins Act has been the largest provider of funds for career guidance and workforce education in schools and in other venues, “ says Herr.
The Center also engages in various cooperative projects. An example is an effort with the Pennsylvania National Guard to help veterans who are returning from military action to the workplace. The Center is doing a pilot study on this topic that it expects will develop into a larger study. The Center also is partnering with the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., as well as the National Institute of Corrections and the National Career Development Association.
Established two years ago, the Center is a clearinghouse for educators, policy makers, and other professionals. It serves as a one-stop shop for persons seeking legislation information, policy statements, and related documents.
r www.ed.psu.edu/educ/cscdpp 26
James Herbert, professor of
counselor education and rehabilitation and human services, is also researching how earlier life experiences can affect careers later in life.
Young adults with disabilities are more likely to end up being unemployed or underemployed than those without disabilities. However, if vocational rehabilitation counselors in the high schools make use of suitable career assessment strategies, students with disabilities are better able to overcome obstacles, develop career skills, and ultimately enter a rewarding career. “Rehabilitation counselors can play an important role in helping students with disabilities understand work requirements needed to succeed on the job and make more informed decisions about realizing their career potential,” says Herbert. Herbert worked with two Penn State colleagues—Jerry Trusty, professor of counselor education, and Dawn Lorenz ’09 Ph.D., a recent graduate of the Counselor Education and Supervision program—to examine the career service practices in Pennsylvania’s high schools. The researchers conducted a statewide online survey of nearly 400 vocational rehabilitation counselors as well as professionals in the schools—teachers, counselors, and administrators. It appears that career assessments are occurring later rather than earlier in high school.
“In our sample, only half of high school students with disabilities were receiving career assessment services by the 10th grade,” Herbert notes, “which meant that students who received them later in high school had less opportunity for career exploration and perhaps less likelihood of finding satisfactory employment upon graduation. Since many students with disabilities have limited opportunities to explore and refine career decisions through community-based job tryouts, it only further places these students at greater risk for subsequent employment problems.” Herbert adds, “Our research provides additional support for the importance of developing collaborative relationships among school-to-work transition professionals, students, and family members in helping students achieve their career potential. Participation of all principal players is something that, at present, is the exception rather than the general rule of practice.” Frank Rusch, professor of special education, is researching ways to help individuals with intellectual disabilities learn problem-solving skills to be more successful in their careers.
Traditionally, people with intellectual disabilities have been taught to respond in specific ways when confronted with certain problems that arise in the workplace. “Unfortunately, employees often encounter new problems in their jobs, problems that are beyond the scope of the situations that an employee may have been trained to solve,” says Rusch. “For example, an employee with intellectual disabilities may have been taught to sweep the floor of a store, but when new tables and chairs have been placed into the areas that the employee typically cleans, he or she may not know what to do. The tables and chairs pose a new problem that the employee has not faced before.”
Applied Behavior Analysis Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program
s individuals move into the workforce, they find that they need continual professional development to stay on top of new methods and technologies. Our College’s faculty are very involved in the development of these new methods and technologies through their research, but they are also deeply involved in the sharing of this knowledge through professional development and academic programs.
The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) postbaccalaureate certificate program provides a convenient opportunity for educational professionals each year to continue their education and add valuable knowledge to their skill set. Approximately 140 people take the
15-credit distance-education course sequence each year, while a number of other individuals take one or more classes just to increase their knowledge about behavior analysis.
include DVD lectures, customized course materials, and supplemental online activities. Students communicate with faculty through e-mail, phone calls, and the Internet.
Program Director and Associate Professor of Education David Lee explains, “Applied Behavior Analysis is the use of principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior. The students in our program represent a variety of backgrounds—educators, physicians, speech-language pathologists, lawyers, and parents who would like more information about programs for their children.”
Program alumna Barb Weber ‘10 says, “I have been a speech and language pathologist for over 25 years. In the last 15 years the incidence of behavior problems comorbid with the population I serve has become a significant part of the services that need to be delivered to help children learn effectively. Penn State’s course allowed me to gain the education I needed while continuing my work and family care in its current capacity. I am enormously grateful for this opportunity, and my treatment effectiveness within my job has increased significantly.”
The program focuses on the use of evidencebased practices to teach new behavior and strengthen existing pro-social behavior. Many students currently work in settings with learners who require intensive levels of instructional and behavioral support, such as students with autism. The skills learned in the program are very specific and go well beyond those typically acquired in many professional preparation programs. The program delivery in an independent, continuing education format makes it possible for students to fit the course into busy schedules. Course materials for the yearlong course
The Behavior Analysts Certification Board (BACB®) has approved Penn State’s curriculum as meeting the course work requirements for eligibility to take the national certification exams for both the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Certificate and the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate. The University Continuing Education Association has also recognized the quality of this program with 2003 National Award for Outstanding Credit Program.
Currently, Rusch is fine-tuning a new teaching protocol, called Project Solve, which he hopes will help people with intellectual disabilities learn to troubleshoot new problems when they arise. “Our goal is to go beyond teaching employees to solve specific problems to actually teaching employees to apply what they have learned about problem solving to other similar problems that may arise in their jobs,” he says. In test trials using Project Solve, Rusch has successfully taught employees to rely upon themselves to generate new solutions to new problems. Now he is working to improve the protocol by first identifying the number of job-related tasks that should be taught to employees initially and then identifying variations in these tasks that can be used to promote problem-solving skills.
In test trials using Project Solve, employees have learned to rely upon themselves to generate new solutions to new problems.
So far, Rusch has found that people with intellectual disabilities generalize their abilities to find solutions to problems, but only if they also are taught two or three new, but similar, solutions to those problems. Rusch says that the ability to work is extremely important for people with intellectual disabilities because it provides them with a means to support themselves and because it helps them to stay connected to other people and the community. “I hope to help these people be more marketable to employers by arming them with an invaluable tool: the ability to solve problems on their own,” he adds.
Developing the Educational Workforce A federal Department of Education study of the teacher workforce in the United States in 2005 revealed that public and private K-12 teachers make up approximately 2.7 percent of the overall U.S. workforce. The Collegeâ€™s combined interest in workforce education and teacher preparation has uniquely positioned it to look at how a strong education workforce can be established and maintained.
C o lleg e o f Educati o n
The Need for a Quality Teacher Workforce Gerald LeTendre, professor of education theory and policy, and Motoko Akiba ‘01 Ph.D., who is now a faculty member at the Univer-
sity of Missouri-Columbia, recently published Improving Teacher Quality: The U.S. Teaching Force in a Global Context, a book looking at the teacher workforce in the United States compared to other countries. The co-authors used data from 15 countries as the basis of their book, which examines teacher quality, working conditions, workforce planning and management, and professional learning opportunities from a comparative standpoint. The United States has no methodical national or state system for recruiting talented individuals into the teaching profession. “We need to think about a coordinated system of incentives that target promising high school and early college students,” says LeTendre. “Some studies show that education majors often score much lower on standardized tests than their peers in other fields, and there is significant concern that we need to organize a different model for attracting the best and brightest into teaching.”
We need to think about a coordinated system of incentives that target promising high school and early college students. —Gerald LeTendre 31
LeTendre states, “We routinely expect our teachers to be more than just an instructor, and we need to better understand the multiple tasks and roles that teachers undertake each day if we are to truly define what ‘quality’ means and how to achieve it in every classroom in the United States.” LeTendre and Akiba conclude with some policy recommendations for state departments of education in the United States that they say will lead to an improvement in both teacher quality and the distribution of highly qualified teachers in schools spanning the economic spectrum. The first suggestion is that states should collect and analyze data on teachers to better understand the teacher distribution and labor markets in each state. States should also develop a task force involving many voices that would collaboratively develop an action plan designed to improve teacher quality. As a result of America’s decentralization, support for both new and veteran teachers is fragmented. “Many new teachers fail to receive mentoring or induction training during their first years of service,” says LeTendre. He points to a growing literature base that suggests that intensive induction programs for new teachers are critical to teacher retention. “These programs could also set the stage for more systematic development of professional skills over the course of a teacher’s working life,” he says. LeTendre acknowledges that teaching has become a more complicated profession, which affects recruitment and retention of the best teachers as well as the ongoing professional development needs of teachers. Teachers must process individual education plans and monitor a range of student behaviors. With added demands, teachers are less able to keep up with current research on how best to meet student needs.
We routinely expect our teachers to be more than just an instructor, and we need to better understand the multiple tasks and roles that teachers undertake each day if we are to truly define what “quality” means and how to achieve it in every classroom in the United States. —Gerald LeTendre
The mathematics education faculty in the College are looking more closely at how current teacher knowledge can be improved. Fran Arbaugh, associate professor of mathematics education, led a study identifying how improving communications between researchers and mathematics educators could benefit both and improve teaching quality. Published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the report, Linking Research and Practice, is based on the work of 60 mathematics education researchers, teachers, and other school-level educators who participated in a 2008 conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation and developed by NCTM. “To me,” Arbaugh says, “the take-away message is that these two seemingly disparate communities—researchers and practitioners—can greatly benefit from more concerted efforts to link our work, which, in turn, will ultimately better serve students’ learning of mathematics.” The report says that the “frameworks more often than not present the relationship as unidirectional.” That is, researchers conduct research and report results; practitioners frequently are end-product consumers. “We propose that this emphasis on practitioners as merely consumers of research be called into question,” the report says, suggesting that “researchers seek ways to build research collaborations with, and disseminate research findings to, practitioners.”
Among the changes recommended in the report: • Researchers develop working relationships with practitioners at all levels to better understand specific district and classroom contexts and limitations. • Researchers not only publish in academic journals, but also present research at conferences that are closely connected to practitioners. • Practitioners develop alliances with researchers to identify similar interests and participate in research design and/or implementation. • Practitioners actively read and review research and challenge the research community to provide meaningful explanations of what has been learned from the research.
The report also notes the monetary challenges inherent in any changes and recommends to mathematics leadership and funding agencies that they provide for more opportunities for researchers and practitioners to collaborate and learn from, and with, each other. “Such changes are considerable,” the report says. “Without more encouragement and support from the broader mathematics education community (including researchers, administrators, policymakers, and funding agencies), real changes in the state of mathematics education in the United States are more likely to be next to impossible.”
Other mathematics education faculty are looking at how teachers understand mathematics and statistics and use that knowledge in their classrooms. They are developing Essential Understanding, a major NCTM initiative. This 16-book series articulates mathematics essentials for teachers to know in order to teach challenging topics that are critical to the mathematical development of students. Rose Mary Zbiek, professor of mathematics education, is the project leader and series editor, and Gwendolyn Lloyd, professor of mathematics education, is a lead author for two volumes. Other Penn State mathematics education faculty provide insight and feedback. The books are a resource to help current and prospective teachers develop connections and depth of understanding in ways that inform what happens within and beyond preK-12 mathematics classrooms. “For many people, understanding mathematics well enough to teach means knowing certain facts, being able to solve standard types of problems, and using relevant vocabulary,” Zbiek says. “Essential Understanding books challenge teachers to value these things and yet go beyond to deal with fundamental ideas that underpin the mathematical content they are teaching and connect those ideas with mathematics from prekindergarten through college courses.” Each book in the series examines big ideas and related essential understandings that capture the essence of a mathematics topic at a particular grade band, connects these ideas with other mathematical ideas within and beyond the grade band, and includes questions for reflection.
Education’s Effect on the Workforce In recent decades, the opportunity to receive a formal education has expanded across the globe, not only transforming the lives of individuals but changing the very nature of their work as well. “This massive growth and spread of education has transformed the postindustrial world into a ‘schooled society,’” says David Baker, professor of educational theory and policy and of sociology. “Consequently, we have seen a kind of mass professionalization of work, a shift toward jobs with more managerial and communicative components, including more work tasks that require reasoning and new types of problem solving.” Baker’s research focuses on the relationship between the “schooled society” and work. In a paper titled “The Educational Transformation of Work: Towards a New Synthesis,” which was published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Education and Work, Baker examines two theories of education and work—the human capital theory and the educationas-social-sorter theory—and poses a new theory that combines the two. The human capitalist theory claims that education is directly and inseparably tied to work. “The human capital model takes schooling at its face value as an imparter of useful capabilities to individuals,” says Baker. “In other words, the theory says that schooling does what it is supposed to do.”
The other side of the debate, known as the education-as-social-sorter theory, claims that formal education is a kind of myth, or even a grand rip-off, and mostly just sorts people into social statuses. “This theory says that schooling does not, for the most part, do what it is supposed to do,” he says. “Rather than imparting useful skills, the theory claims that education is an expensive societal sorting machine that merely sorts and allocates individuals into the world of work based on their innate ability and crude socialization.” Seeing the value in each theory, yet uncomfortable with the full conclusions of either, Baker created his own theory that combines the two. “I believe that schooling does, in fact, include the learning of skills that transform the individual, and, when there are mass numbers of educated people in the workforce, this then transforms the work world,” he says. “I also believe that schooling sorts and allocates individuals into appropriate jobs and that the dynamic between these two functions generates the widely observed robust culture of education in postindustrial society.” Through his new theory, Baker hopes to elevate to a new level the intellectual discussion about the influence of education on work in modern society.
I believe that schooling does, in fact, include the learning of skills that transform the individual, and, when there are mass numbers of educated people in the workforce, this then transforms the work world. —David Baker 35
Federal Grants Support Special Education Ph.D. Students
ccording to the U.S. Department of Education, the national shortage of highly qualified special education teachers is 11.2 percent. Approximately 45,500 teachers with special education duties do not meet required standards. This ongoing shortage will only get worse as more teachers retire or leave the profession. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the demand for special education teachers will increase by 17 percent by 2018, a greater rate than what is predicted for all other occupations.
Individuals with special education doctorates are needed to prepare special education teachers and contribute to research in the field; however, there continues to be a shortage of those individuals as well.
For nearly the last 20 years, the College of Education has won five different federal grants to help cover tuition and pay a living stipend to students pursuing graduate degrees in special education.
“Teaching experience before graduate school is required, which means people have to leave their established careers to complete a quality doctoral program,” says Kathy Ruhl, professor of special education and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, School Psychology, and Special Education. “A good program also requires a mentor relationship, which means they cannot do this online.”
the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the demand for special education teachers will increase by 17 percent by 2018, a greater rate than what is predicted for all other occupations.
Says Ruhl, “In the last 20 years, 99 percent of our grads have gone to higher education positions. This is partly because of how we mentor them. Also, we are explicit in the application process that these funds are for individuals who want to become a professor of special education. “This program can affect more than the individual earning the degree,” Ruhl explains. “It starts with one graduate from our program, who then teaches four courses a year, with 25 students each. Those 100 students go out and teach between 15 to 30 students a year for 30 years. Of course, this doesn’t even include the impact the faculty member’s research might have on the field. How many more people may read the articles, cite them, and build on their ideas?”
Dana Mitra, associate professor of
educational theory and policy, is looking at how the educational levels required for the general workforce has changed. At one time, if you had a high school diploma, you had the world at your fingertips; you were fully prepared for life and work; and you could actually get a good job. Today, however, a college degree is the new high school diploma. What once was reserved for a small, elite group of individuals now is a prerequisite for access to the best jobs. “Historically, youth who did not go on to college had the ability to find stable employment in mills, mines, and manufacturing plants,” says Mitra. “Today these jobs are rarely available since companies have moved operations to other countries or have simply folded. The communities where these jobs once existed are experiencing a brain drain of the most talented individuals leaving their communities in search of jobs.” In a paper that recently was accepted by the journal Teachers College Record, Mitra examines the strategies developed by local communities to improve career preparation in order to allow youth to stay in a given region. She found that to strengthen their communities and avoid increasing decay, communities must raise awareness of local job opportunities, train local youth to meet these needs, and continue to develop economically so that even more attractive jobs become available.
“One of the big questions that our research generated and that we plan to pursue is the paradox of whether it is the responsibility of schools to prepare individual youth for the best careers they can achieve, or whether schools have an obligation to help rebuild struggling communities,” says Mitra. For some communities in the United States the lack of educational or career opportunities is more critical than others. In 2010, Susan Faircloth, associate professor of educational leadership and director and alumna of the American Indian Leadership Program (AILP) in the College, and John Tippeconnic ’71 M.S., ’75 Ph.D., a former director of the AILP, published a report on the dropout/graduate rate crisis among American Indian and Alaska Native students. The report was one of the initiatives sponsored by the College’s Center for the Study of Leadership in American Indian Education in collaboration with the UCLA Civil Rights Project. The report identifies a trend that heralds a serious crisis for workforce and adult education needs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. After reviewing the high school graduation rates of the 12 states with the largest American Indian/Alaska Native population, Faircloth found a large disparity in most states between the overall graduation rates, which ranged from 54.1 percent to 79.2 percent, and the graduation rates for American Indian/ Alaska Native students, which ranged from 30.4 percent to 63.8 percent. With a median age of 29, the American Indian population is relatively young. The report explains, “Children and youth hold the key to the social, economic, and cultural survival of the American Indian and Alaska Native population in the United States. Failure to ensure that Native youth graduate from high school places the entire population at risk.”
The report outlines ways in which the low graduation rates are affecting the current workforce population. American Indian and Alaska Native people are less likely to join the workforce than the national average. They tend to be employed in more service-oriented jobs that are more likely to have low wages and no benefits. Overall, the median income for American Indians and Alaska Natives is well below the national average. “The failure to provide appropriate educational opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native youth will have lifelong consequences for the future of these students and their communities,” Faircloth explains. “As such, it is imperative that efforts be made to ensure that schools are safe—physically and emotionally—and welcoming places for Native students and their families. The development of such environments will help to ensure that Native students complete their high school degrees and those who choose to do so have the opportunity to pursue higher education at two- or four-year institutions, and in some cases, graduate education.”
Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCUs) are an important resource that can help improve the current educational crisis facing American Indians and Alaska Natives. In a chapter that will soon be published by Tippeconnic and Faircloth in the forthcoming book Universities and Global Diversity: Preparing educators for tomorrow (Eds. Beverly Lindsay, professor of higher education, and Wanda Blanchett ’97 Ph.D.), they argue that in many cases, “TCUs provide an education that is more accessible and culturally appropriate than mainstream institutions or those public and private colleges and universities in the United States that provide educational opportunities to the general public. A major difference is that TCUs promote the growth and use of tribal languages and cultures while providing educational programs designed to meet local needs.” Faircloth explains further, “There are more than 40 different TCUs located across the nation. The majority are located on or near reservations or other tribal lands and are chartered by tribes or groups of tribes. Tribal Colleges provide a unique environment in which local, indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing provide a foundation from which remedial, academic, and vocational skills are promoted. Many of the Tribal Colleges also serve as gateways or bridges to four-year colleges and universities.” Ladislaus Semali, associate professor of adult education and co-director of the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge, is also concerned about the preservation of indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, while improving educational opportunities.
Traditional science education programs in Tanzania are at a critical crossroads. Currently, students are taught science through rote memorization of Western science concepts, which are taught outside of the context of local indigenous knowledge the students already possess about the world around them.
They hope their research and recommendations may lead to a better curriculum that incorporates an entrepreneurial focus that allows for the local indigenous knowledges of the students and the larger communities. They also hope to create a system that leads to better-trained teachers, more student engagement, and a pedagogy that involves participatory teaching and learning techniques.
Because of lack of space, money, and materials, many students receive little practical experience in science. Classrooms are overcrowded, and many teachers lack the appropriate knowledge to teach science. There are few labs, and where schools may have labs, they lack important materials such as chemicals to give students a practical hands-on experience with scientific concepts. Students who are trained in this fashion move into the workforce facing few employment opportunities and lacking the entrepreneurial focus to apply their knowledge to solve important problems facing their communities and nation, such as hunger, poverty, famine, disease, and depletion of natural resources. Semali is working with several colleagues, including faculty from the Penn State colleges of engineering, science, and medicine, as well as members from Tumaini University in Tanzania to address these issues through a culturally-conscious science curriculum in Tanzania.
This research is still a work in progress, and the specific curriculum and interventions have yet to be determined, yet the group has identified some goals they wish to achieve with this project. They hope their research and recommendations may lead to a better curriculum that incorporates an entrepreneurial focus that allows for the local indigenous knowledges of the students and the larger communities. They also hope to create a system that leads to bettertrained teachers, more student engagement, and a pedagogy that involves participatory teaching and learning techniques.
For the last three years, this group of researchers has interacted with a number of stakeholders including teachers, parents, science practitioners, individuals from industry, and government representatives. They have collected data through survey questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations, and focus group discussions.
Index Akiba, Motoko 31 American Indian Leadership Program 37 American Journal of Distance Education 18 Applied Behavior Analysis Postbaccalau reate Certificate 28 Arbaugh, Fran 33
Beman, Roy 13 Baker, David 35 Baker, Rose M. 10 Blanchett, Wanda 38
Camberg, Jean 20 Carrera, Maricela 20 Center for the Study of Career Development and Public Policy 26 Center for the Study of Higher Education 8 Center for the Study of Leadership in American Indian Education 37 Clark, Robert 6 Conyers, Liza M. 24
Directors Academy 7 Distance Education Online Symposium 18 Drayton, Brendaly 20
Miller, Faith 20 Mitra, Dana 37 Monk, David H. 2 Moore, Michael G. 18
Faircloth, Susan 37
Niles, Spencer 26 Nurse Aide Training: Teaching the Educator Workshop 14
Germino, Kim 14 Gilbert, Claire 8 Griffin, Kimberly 8 Gungor, Ramazan 20
Heller, Donald 8 Hendrickson, Robert 8 Herbert, James 27 Herr, Edwin L. 4, 26
Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge 38
O’Sullivan, Deirdre 24
Passmore, David L. 10 Pellock, Cynthia 9 Prins, Esther 20 Professional Personnel Development Center 2, 7, 9, 13 Project Solve 29
Walter, Richard 13 Weber, Barb 28 Workforce Education and Development Initiative 10
David H. Monk, Dean College of Education The Pennsylvania State University 274 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802 (814) 865-2526 EdRelations@psu.edu
Xue, Yi 15
Zbiek, Rose Mary 34
Editor: Suzanne Wayne Writers: Sara LaJeunesse, David Price, Joseph Savrock, Suzanne Wayne Photographers: Mark Houser,
Rothwell, William J. 15 Ruhl, Kathy 36 Rusch, Frank 27
Kolb, Judith A. 12
Land, Susan 19 Lee, David 28 LeTendre, Gerald 31 Lindsay, Beverly 38 Lloyd, Gwendolyn 34 Lorenz, Dawn 27
Taylor, Edward 21 Thompson, Melody M. 18 Threeton, Mark 6 Timmerman III, Theodore 8 Tippeconnic, John 37 Tisdell, Elizabeth 21 Trusty, Jerry 27
Semali, Ladislaus 38 Sharma, Priya 19 Sherwani, Naseem 15 Sprow, Karin 21
Michelle Klein, Nabil Mark, Rusty Myers, Randy Persing, Katelyn Willyerd Read this document online: issuu.com/pennstateeducation To discontinue delivery of printed materials and receive future e-mail alerts regarding online publications, e-mail EdMagazine@psu.edu, with your first and last name and the subject line: “online magazine only.”
Resources Page 6:
Threeton, Mark, Richard A. Walter, Robert W. Clark, and John C. Ewing, “Automotive Technology Student Learning Styles and Modes of Grasping and Transforming Experience.” Paper accepted for presentation and as a conference proceeding of the Association for Career and Technical Education Research Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, December 2010.
Baker, Rose, Ki Seok Jeon, and David Passmore. Offshorability of Pennsylvania Jobs: What Are the Risks? University Park, PA: Penn State Institute for Research in Training & Development, 2010. http://train.ed.psu.edu/ offshore/#/ Baker, Rose and David Passmore, eds. Penn State Economic & Workforce Brief. University Park, PA: Penn State Workforce Education & Development Initiative. 2007-2010. http://train.ed.psu.edu/brief/
Kolb, Judith A. Small group and team facilitation: The basics and beyond. Amherst, MA: HRD Press (forthcoming).
Bernthal, Paul, Karen Colteryahn, Patty Davis, Jennifer Naughton, William J. Rothwell, and Rich Wellins. Mapping the future: Shaping new workplace learning and performance competencies. Alexandria, VA: The American Society for Training and Development, 2004. Rothwell, William J., Jacqueline M. Stavros, Roland L. Sullivan, and Arielle Sullivan, eds. Practicing organization development: A guide for consultants, 3rd ed. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, 2010. Rothwell, William J. Effective succession planning: Ensuring leadership continuity and building talent from within, 4th ed. New York, NY: AMACOM, 2010. Rothwell, William J. The manager’s guide to maximizing employee potential. New York, NY: AMACOM, 2009. Rothwell, William J., James Alexander, and Mark Bernhard, eds., Cases in government succession planning: Action-oriented strategies for public-sector human capital management, workforce planning, succession planning, and talent management. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 2008.
Rothwell, William J., Harvey L. Sterns, Diane Spokus, and Joel M. Reaser. Working longer: New strategies for managing, training, and retaining older employees. New York, NY: AMACOM, 2008. Rothwell, William J., Robert K. Prescott, and Maria W. Taylor. Human resource transformation: Demonstrating strategic leadership in the face of future trends. San Francisco, CA: Davies-Black, 2008.
The American Journal of Distance Education. Michael G. Moore, Ed. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis Group LLC., 1987-2010. Thompson, Melody M., and Modupe E. Irele. “Evaluating distance education programs,” in Handbook of Distance Education, edited by M. G. Moore, 419–436. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.
Conyers, Liza. Vocational training and employment survey. University Park, PA: National Working Positive Coalition, 2008.
Herbert, James T., Dawn M. Lorenz, and Jerry Trusty. “Career assessment practices for high school students with disabilities and perceived value reported by transition personnel,” Journal of Rehabilitation (forthcoming).
Provasnik, Stephen, and Scott Dorfman. Findings from the Condition of Education 2005: Mobility in the Teacher Workforce. National Center for Education Statistics, 2005. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/ coe/2005/analysis/sa01.asp
Akiba, Motoko, and Gerald LeTendre. Improving Teacher Quality: The U.S. Teaching Force in Global Context. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2009.
Arbaugh, Fran, Beth HerbelEisenmann, Nora Ramirez, Eric Knuth, and Henry Krane. Linking Research and Practice: The NCTM Research Agenda Conference Report, Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2010.
Zbiek, Rose Mary, ed. Developing Essential Understandings. 2 vols. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2010.
Baker, David P. “The educational transformation of work: towards a new synthesis,” Journal of Education and Work 22, no. 3 (2009): 163-191.
“Teachers-Special Education.” Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-11 Edition. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ ocos070.htm
Mitra, Dana. “Signaling postsecondary pathways in a globalized economy: A view from the Rust Belt,” Teachers College Record (forthcoming).
Tippeconnic, John W., III, and Susan C. Faircloth, “Native American Tribal Colleges and Universities: Utilizing Indigenous Knowledges and ways of knowing to prepare Native peoples to meet the demands of an increasingly globalized community,” in Universities and global diversity: Preparing educators for tomorrow, ed. B. Lindsay & W. Blanchett. Routledge Research in Education. New York, NY: Routledge (Taylor and Francis), 2010.
Faircloth, Susan C., and John W. Tippeconnic, III. The dropout/graduation rate crisis among American Indian and Alaska Native students: Failure to respond places the future of Native Peoples at risk. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA, 2010. www. civilrightsproject.ucla.edu.
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This report describes how faculty research, outreach, and teaching efforts are affecting numerous aspects of Workforce and Adult Education....
Published on Nov 5, 2010
This report describes how faculty research, outreach, and teaching efforts are affecting numerous aspects of Workforce and Adult Education....