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Schooling in the Workplace: How Six of the World's Best Vocational Education Systems Prepare Young People for Jobs and Life

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1612501123
ISBN-10: 1612501125
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Editorial Reviews


“I enthusiastically endorse Hoffman’s final suggestion to the reader: 'Buy a plane ticket to one of the strong VET countries, talk to employers, see young people at work, and decide for yourself whether the system performs as described here.' Before you travel, I whole-heartedly recommend that you read this book.” — Roland Osterlund, Center on International Education Benchmarking

“Well written and filled with excellent recommendations, this book is a must read for those concerned with how the US can better assist its young adults, employers, and the country alike in reforming the transition from school to work, ensuring a well-prepared workforce for the future.” — T. Gutteridge, CHOICE

“This book includes rich details that should be the source for such critical reflection, discourse, and action.” — Judith Parker, Teachers College Record

From the Back Cover

Which non-American education systems best prepare young people for fulfilling jobs and successful adult lives? And what can the United States—where far too many young people currently enter adulthood without adequate preparation for the twenty-first-century job market—learn, adopt, and adapt from these other systems? In Schooling in the Workplace, Nancy Hoffman addresses these questions head on, arguing that “the smartest and quickest route to a wide variety of occupations for the majority of young people in the successful countries—not a default for failing students—is a vocational program that integrates work and learning.”

Schooling in the Workplace explores the vocational education programs in a wide range of countries, focusing in rich and useful detail on six in particular: Australia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland. Framing these discussions, however, is a persistent focus on American circumstances and challenges. Far more than a survey of six “foreign” programs, this is a book prompted by and organized around the policy and practical challenges facing the United States.

“Nancy Hoffman offers a clear-eyed analysis of the American youth development problem and what we can learn from our European competitors, their successes and their failures. She suggests workable solutions in moving from a ‘completion’ agenda to a ‘learning for jobs’ agenda. This is a necessary read for those who are serious about addressing the real education needs of American youth in their transition to a productive adulthood.” — James R. Stone III, professor and director, National Research Center for Career & Technical Education, University of Louisville

Schooling in the Workplace sheds new light on the urgency and effectiveness of integrating academic work and career preparation to help more young people succeed in the workforce. It is the right approach, now is the right time, and—as we are experiencing in California—it is achievable.” — Anne Stanton, Program Director for Youth, The James Irvine Foundation

“Nancy Hoffman takes us on a tour of countries that do an impressive job preparing their youth for careers through programs that situate learning in the workplace. As a country struggling with persistent high school dropout rates, achievement gaps, and the lowest youth employment rate in six decades, the United States should closely examine the policies of those countries that the author highlights: they point clearly to how we can do a better job preparing youth, particularly disadvantaged youth, for the world of work in our complex society.” — Betsy Brand, executive director, American Youth Policy Forum

Nancy Hoffman is a vice president and senior advisor at Jobs for the Future. Stanley S. Litow is Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM and president of IBM’s International Foundation.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612501125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612501123
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,028,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As COO at DylanListed LLC, I picked up this book out of curiosity, desire to be more knowledgeable, conversant on the theme of transition (school to employment) for youth. While the book indeed does not at all focus on youth transition for special needs youth (our focus at DylanListed LLC), it caused me to look at the theme of transition for special needs youth as part of the broader theme of transition for ALL American youth. And in that area, we in the US indeed are lacking. We, for starters, don't have the established, statutory schemes, and resultant apprenticeship markets, of our friends in Europe. Dr. Hoffman's thoughtful look at the Swiss system, as one being closer to our labor regulation scheme than other country systems she studied, was helpful. In the US we are experimenting with tripartite (government-academia-private sector) partnerships to jumpstart workforce systems, but such partnerships are ambitious, not easy to manage, measure. And we rely on the creativity of the private sector, which has for the most part historically been reluctant to invest in youth training (excluding a few notable business models, such as P-TECH schools, cooperative universities, that Dr. Hoffman expounds). I am glad that Secretary Perez of DOL has benchmarked European systems recently. This book is an excellent reference for those seeking to influence public policy in this area. Thank you Dr. Hoffman!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers an amazing overview of OECD policies on vocational education and serves as a wonderful backgrounder for someone looking to explore the parameters of the field and offers great Case studies
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this to be a wonderful book and raises some very interesting ideas around Vocational Education. I very much like the International perspective.
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