With increasing belief by educators that education should include some type of vocational or career-related training, concerns have arisen over just how such programs can be effectively implemented to meet the needs of the teachers, students, and community groups. Teachers and community-based educators have questioned how work education may provide students with an understanding of the realities of life in the job market and at work, while at the same time helping them determine the practices that will define their own working lives. Learning Work directly addresses this concern. Through discussions of teaching methods and actual lesson suggestions, the authors demonstrate how the perspective of a critical pedagogy can be used to develop a clear and principled practice of work education. Numerous examples drawn from interviews and classroom observations involving a cross-section of urban, suburban, and rural schools are included, illustrating the practical implications of a theory of critical pedagogy.
In their introduction, the authors provide a discussion of the relationship between a critical pedagogy and work education. The remainder of the book is divided into three parts, the first of which contains chapters that explore the technical issues involved in work education. Separate chapters address the notion of working knowledge, the concepts of skills and work design, and ways in which the learning potential of worksites can be more fully developed through work education programs. The second part examines social relations and includes discussions of workplace relations, occupational health and safety, the interrelationships between work and leisure, and the question of unions. Finally, the authors look at work as an exchange relation and demonstrate how work education can be used to foster self-assessment, help students in job search and salary negotiation processes, and prepare them for future work opportunities. Practical lesson suggestions are included in each section. An invaluable resource for teachers and education students, this book makes a substantial contribution to current debates regarding the place and purpose of work education in our secondary schools, colleges, and community-based service agencies.
About the Author
ROGER I. SIMON teaches in the Department of Curriculum at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He was co-director of Project Learning Work, an extensive multi-year ethnographic study of student experiences in work education programs. Simon has conducted research and written extensively in the areas of critical pedagogy and cultural studies, work that has emphasized theoretical and applied frameworks. He is currently completing his next book Teaching Against the Grain: Essays for a Pedagogy of Possibility.
DON DIPPO teaches in the Faculty of Education at York University. His research interests include the social and political organization of knowledge, critical pedagogy and cultural studies, and the sociology of work and occupations.
ARLEEN SCHENKE is presently doing graduate work in Sociology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Having taught at secondary school and community college, she is currently an instructor at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto, and a teaching assistant at York University's Faculty of Education. Her research interests focus on feminist and post-structuralist applications to the practice of critical pedagogy and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Work Education and Critical Pedagogy
Strategies for Critical Reflection in Work Education
Exploring Technical Relations
Working Knowledge: What It Takes to Do the Job
Skills and Work Design
Teachers Working with Employers: Developing the Learning Potential of Work Sites
Exploring Social Relations
Working through Social Relations
Occupational Health and Safety: A Critical Look
Time On and Off the Job: The Interrelation of Work, Desire, and Leisure
Unions: Solving Problems by Sticking Together
Exploring Work as an Exchange Relation
Self-Assessment: Changing Circumstances, Changing Selves
Speaking Out about Pay
Getting a Job