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Some LPs reported that planning activities was difficult because of a lack of funding or no presence of an on-site STC coordinator. Data collected through interviews with non-case study LPs indicate that schools are capitalizing on existing ROP programs to increase WBL opportunities for students.

ERIC 62 38 CHAPTER V STRUCTURAL AND PROGRAMMATIC ASPECTS OF STC IMPLEMENTATION While the previous chapter focused on results related to student participation in STC activities and learning opportunities, this chapter describes findings with respect to structural and programmatic aspects of STC.

Simply stated, if they are not convinced of the value of a reform effort, it will not succeed.

As such, professional development is fundamental to STC implementation, helping teachers understand the vision and educational significance of this reform and giving them the skills and support necessary to implement change. Administrators and teachers were interviewed at each of the CORE high schools within each case study LP. In addition, data about professional development were collected through interviews at CORE schools and through the Administrator Survey. Below we describe the major findings concerning teacher and administrator knowledge and attitudes towards STC and opportunities for professional development from LP case studies. Support for STC Among Teachers is Not Uniform A clear difference between the attitudes of academic and career-technical education teachers was evident in data collected through interviews in case study high schools. A majority of LPs reported that academic write my psychology paper write my psychology paper staff view STC as an add-on to curriculum, while career-technical education teachers more typically view STC as an integral part of education. Some case study LPs noted differences in levels of teacher support for STC with respect to new versus veteran teachers. Specifically, 4 LPs (Vision 2020, Ventura, Monterey Bay, and San Luis Obispo) reported that new teachers were more receptive to STC than those who have been teaching for longer periods of time. However, there were no consistent findings across LPs of 63 39 differences attributable to school characteristics in regards to teacher understanding of STC, teacher attitude towards STC, and professional development opportunities provided. That is, school characteristics do not appear to affect teacher attitudes or types of professional development offered. As Figure D belowi shows, the percentage of teachers at the elementary level who make this connection is modest in most LPs.

Therefore, comparable high school data are not available. In addition, they reported that these teachers and counselors believed that career-related curricula and hands-on experiences both serve to engage disaffected and special needs students and benefit students self-identified as college prep. Professional Development Viewed as Key to Implementing and Sustaining STC The non-case study LP director interviews indicated that most, if not all, LPs consider professional development a very important aspect of their work and a key ingredient for sustainability of STC. In large part, these LP directors believe that professional development is necessary to get administrators and teachers to perceive the value of STC and to enable them to successfully implement various STC efforts in their schools. Box III below lists common objectives of professional development described by LP directors. These experiences were available to teachers in at least a fourth of the schools in 1 TLPs.

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A less common, but interesting, means of professional development rnentioned by a few LPs was involvement of administrators and teachers in STC learning collaboratives, or industry-specific networks of individuals involved in implementing STC.

The learning collaboratives provide a fomm for sharing curriculum and best practices. Several LP directors mentioned the importance of making professional development opportunities very convenient, practical, and meaningful for teachers. For example, one non-case study LP (Workforce Silicon Valley) makes sure to schedule professional development opportunities at times that are most convenient for teachers (i. This LP also strives to make its professional development offerings productive for teachers by providing school STC teams with planning time during professional development events and making professional development activities hands-on experiences that result in tangible products, such as integrated curriculum units that teachers can use immediately. Teachers and Administrators See Several Barriers to STC Implementation Teachers and administrators identified several barriers to implementing STC programs and activities. Case study LPs also reported that administrators and teachers at some schools do not believe STC is appropriate for college-bound students and therefore do not implement STC in any comprehensive or meaningful way. Case study data indicate that across the LPs there are some teachers, counselors, and administrators who have a good understanding of STC, but many who do not.

Indeed, many of the barriers described above may result from a lack of understanding of the goals of STC. This lack of understanding can be addressed, to some degree, with meaningful STC-related professional development, as well as convincing evidence about the benefits of STC activities and programs. Curriculum Integration Strategies The practice of curriculum write my psychology paper integration can take a variety of forms, including introducing academic content into career-technical classes, incorporating examples from the world of work into academic classes, and creating comprehensive programs where all instruction centers on career major themes. Clearly, these different approaches require different levels of time and resources to implement. Box IV below provides examples of strategies that some non-case study LPs have used to enhance curriculum integration. Team members have been trained to integrate curriculum and are given responsibility for creating integrated curriculum units.

Career-technical education teachers worked with academic teachers to find ways to highlight academic skills within their career-technical classes.

Academic teachers identified ways to bring more relevance to the content they teach (i.

The current emphasis on mandated state testing made it necessary to revise the lessons so that they clearly addressed key academic content covered in the standards. The lesson plans include tips for incorporating SCANS skills. Research investigating the barriers associated with curriculum integration suggests that many academic teachers are concerned that incorporating practical or hands-on learning will detract from the more traditionally defined academic skills that are important for doing well on standardized tests, college admission, and success in college. Moreover, the ability to integrate academic and career-related learning is influenced by a lack of time for teachers to develop curriculum and to meet and plan together across departments.

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