Any topic that comes up.
Job related education seems to have gone away. When I was in high school I had wood shop, auto shop, metal shop, four years of electronics starting in the 9th grade. Okay, that was in the 60's. These were standard classes, not after school activities. Now my grandson takes robotics classes but they are after school activities.
The education I got in high school started me on a good path that lasted me all my professional life. It is still a hobby for me.
Over the years the electronics jobs market has changed. Technician jobs have gone away. They were automated or moved overseas. As one of the few remaining tech my jobs took on engineering aspects. Some of us moved into programming.
Robotics is still a big and growing industry but they spend very little time on electronics.
One of the Florida gubenatorial candidates is running on that very premise, bringing vocational areas back to public schools. He indicates not everyone is ready or needs to be a scholar, that there is always a need for professional craft and trade persons.
Personal note: High school shop in association with FFA (Future Farmers) and Aggie for boys generally was a VERY big part of Florida education in rural counties in the 1950-1970 period of my younger experience (I graduated in 1960). For girls of that time, there was the FHA (Future Homemakers) but that has fallen away as girls cannot be held to women's roles, forgetting that ALL youngsters could benefit from Home Economics, look at the utter ignorance of checks, finance, banking nd so on that were quite often taught as a home skill. All in all, modern public schools have become a half assed college prep system with very little contact with reality.
Many college kids took easy hs courses, ie basket weaving, to get good grades to prepare for college.
You got me pegged there. I got all the mandatory stuff out of the way early and took bullshit courses my senior hs year except for electronics. I took classes with the not-so-bright girls.
It was a very good year.
Strange point of view, in my education, and early teaching, education was disigned not for getting a job, but to prepare one for life as a useful citizen. To me the job emphasis, itself a mistake, started after I was aleady teaching during the Nixon administration. I have several degrees, none prepared me for any spicific Jobs, If one prepared for work, one took one´s educatiion and applied it to on the job training. I had no interest in being a banker, but my first real paying job was as a bank teller. All I needed for that job was literacy and numeracy. The bank was responsable for my learning banking, and gave me many opportunities to go that route if interested. Here in Spain, our local high school, is simply a combination office building and lab. All students got academics along with job skills. Everything else taught in American high schools, come under the department of culture, no grades, no requirements, no homework, just self motivation. Just as literacy and numeracy are important for all work, so are manual skills what we have now is Little or no manual skills taught, and a rather por job of numeracy and literacy.
The problema with shop clases as they evolved during my teaching career, is that they were too job speciric, focused on Jobs that would probably not be there for long after graduation. Modern schools are not even half assed college prep, they are half assed prep for college prep that does not usually start until after high school graduation. , when the important things that kids are only exposed to in high school have to be taught from scratch, when someone decides they are relevant. In highschool I took the standard college prep math, and sicence. One of my degrees is in comp sci, for which I took one 3 unit community college in data processing, and jumped to a masters program, that required nothing beyond first year algebra, and depended entirely what I learned in liberal arts clases, philosophy, logic, language. My first teaching here in Spain, was called "programming", but my students never had to touch a computer to pass the course. The criculum was based on Aristotle, who is barely mentioned in high school history clases. You are confusing education with training.
Our view on education differs. From the 9th grade I took classes on electronics. It gave me a strong basis that made later learning in electronics easier. Between high school, college and military schools it prepared me for a life time of teaching myself later stuff that got more advanced.
Yes, formal education leads to vocational goals.
Good point. What good is a degree in electronics engineering if there are no jobs here to fit? Psychology? That's needed. Start by fixing the nuts running the school system.