Post Number: 1769
|Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2008 - 05:43 pm: ||
My son started high school on Thursday. He's going to a state-run vocational-agricultural school specializing in aquaculture. It's got a fish hatchery, shellfish hatchery, remotely-operated underwater vehicle lab, boat sheds, docks, big boats from commercial dredgers to old wooden schooners, little power and sailboats, etc.
I AM SO ENVIOUS!
There. I said it. I'm glad he's going to a school he'll enjoy. But I wish I could have gone to a high school like that, too. Damn!
I took my dad over to see the campus this morning and took a few pics. Most of the boats had been pulled on Friday to protect them from Hanna. But you can still see a few. The panorama covers about 215 degrees standing on the front lawn of the main building.
Post Number: 9196
|Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2008 - 06:44 pm: ||
The pictures are beautiful, Paul, and it looks like a wonderful place to go to school. But let me state a contrary point of view.
I'm not such a big fan of vocational education at the high school level. I will say that it fits a certain student profile: those who are not academically oriented and who might not otherwise stay in school. I don't know if your son is in that group or not.
However, I'm not so sure that vocational education for those who are not adults is such a good idea. It focuses on specific skills and occupations that may disappear or change significantly in the future. I'm much more an advocate of an emphasis on general skills that will be of value no matter what careers a person will have.
I couldn't begin to count the occupations that no longer exist, at least in significant numbers, since I was in school nearly 50 years ago, and those new ones that now include probably about one-third of all workers. Studies claim that the typical worker will have three or four different careers in a lifetime. My own experience is more like seven or eight, although I may be extreme in that regard.
At any rate, I believe the skills that are best stressed when you are young are those that apply to a wide range of career choices, and indeed to life iteslf, which will allow you to be flexible and change. I hope your son's school stresses those in addition to specific vocational skills.
Post Number: 5791
|Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2008 - 07:01 pm: ||
Didn't Woody Allan say something to the effect of,"Just showing up is 90% of success." As I age, this is more and more true. General "employment skills" needs more attention.
Post Number: 1671
|Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2008 - 07:58 pm: ||
Quotation #1903 from Laura Moncur's Motivational Quotations:
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Post Number: 184
|Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2008 - 09:33 pm: ||
Paul, congratulations for your son, it looks like a great opportunty.
Bill, you should perhaps take a closer look at what vocational/technical education is expected to do.
While my students learn construction skills by building an on-site house that we sell, the focus is on skills that are transferable across a wide range of occupations. The opportunity to apply academic skills in a real world setting far exceeds the "traditional" classroom.
I discuss with students that they will likely make 10+ job and/or career changes in their lives.
Dan and Bob, you're right if you show up and have a decent attitude you will likely be successful. I would also like to see kids work in an career that they enjoy, it makes life so much better.
(Message edited by tomburk on September 07, 2008)
Post Number: 9197
|Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2008 - 10:32 pm: ||
I agree that some kids don't do so well in a traditional classroom but succeed in an environment with more stimulation and activities they feel have real-world application.
I have had adult vocational training, including brewing school, that I enjoyed very much. However, I feel that the more academic education I had when younger gave me a general background and skills that could be applied to a wide variety of careers.
I suppose it's a matter of being curious and enjoying the learning process more than anything else, whether vocational or otherwise.
Post Number: 987
|Posted on Monday, September 08, 2008 - 02:39 am: ||
Must be salt water oriented...
Farming atlantic salmon?
Post Number: 1771
|Posted on Monday, September 08, 2008 - 06:06 am: ||
I agree with you, Bill. Luckily, so do most vo-ag schools these days.
I admit that I had a bad reaction when Tyler first mentioned he wanted to go to the Sound School. My mental image was of a place where you learned diesel engine repair and not much else. But that image of vo-ag schools seems to be a couple of decades out of date. They aren't like that anymore.
Some kids at Sound School do learn a trade, such as dredging or running a charter boat. Others do original research in the recombinant DNA lab under the direction of UConn faculty. Tyler is taking Geometry and English and Spanish along with his aquatech. A lot of the kids go on to 4-year colleges. The education is as broad as you want it to be.
The key difference is that Tyler doesn't have to spend the entire day behind a desk with his mouth shut. Not all kids can do that and still learn anything. Some need to be on their feet, getting filthy, moving around. It doesn't mean that they aren't academically oriented. It just means that learn differently. Most public schools don't deal well with such kids, as we know too well.
Different kids need different things. Not all kids want to go home wet and filthy every day. (Nor do all kids want to do 200hrs/yr of supervised work-study plus 50hrs/yr of community service plus FFA projects, all on top of their regular academics, as Tyler will have to do.) But for kids that don't do "sit down and shut up" very well, a school like this is God-sent.
Post Number: 1772
|Posted on Monday, September 08, 2008 - 06:12 am: ||
They do have Atlantic salmon in the tanks, plus a lot of other fin fish.
They also have lobster, clams, mussels.... They had to add extra locks on the doors once the general public realized that there's probably $5000 or more worth of lobster in the tanks at all times. Can't have people breaking in and stealing the lobsters!