D BUSINESS EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLSEducation and Vocational Education have many roles in todays schools. Vocational education focuses on the future employment of the student, by using practical application. Vocational education gives students the opportunity to learn with hands-on experience. This can help in several areas of gaining an education. Most notably, this gives the student the opportunity to find out if this is what they want to do. Students will get a real-world experience very early on in their education. This experience can greatly enrich a students education by giving them the opportunity to become involved in activities that are relevant to their lives, therefore, becoming a source of motivation. Education provides these same experiences to a certain extent, but the connection to real-world experience is much less defined.
I believe it is the obligation of an educator to help create lifelong learners out of our students. Three key elements need to be present for this to take place. Confidence, relevance and motivation must all be present. Students need to have the confidence to try and succeed, or try and fail. This may sound like a trivial example, but I believe it is essential to success. Without knowing and understanding failure, students will not be able to appreciate success and what it takes to succeed. Confidence will be gained through the trial and error that takes place in the successful business educators classroom. Relevance is the next item. The application of the material in the classroom must be relevant to what the student has set his/her sights on. Business education is all about relevance. Taking the simulations, applications and exercises from real life examples allows the students to see and understand the challenges they face. When the students see they are learning relevant skills they will become motivated to succeed. Motivation can come from a variety of sources, but I believe the business education teacher can aid in this. Students fall into bad habits while at school. I see it on a daily basis. They go through the motions of being a student and miss all the valuable knowledge that is available to them. They see no connection to what they are currently doing, to what they will grow up and do. When that connection is made, the student will become motivated to take advantage of the experience and information presented to them in school.
I want to teach business education because I believe the knowledge and skills it provides are essential to all students. Students need to understand the competition they will be facing in their search for that first job. Business education gives them a glimpse of what will be expected of them from day one. They need to learn the skills to enable them to become effective consumers, employees and leaders. Business education teaches students how to work as a team, how to meet deadlines, how to prioritize work and teaches them problem-solving skills. Students of today will become the businessmen of tomorrow. We must prepare them to manage their money, make wise investment decisions and learn to live on a budget. They also need to be exposed to expectations in the work environment. Communication is a must in any profession, including business. Interpersonal skills will be used on a daily basis. Business education prepares students for all of these situations and helps them in their pursuit of lifelong learning.
Although there are many classes that can aid in the education of vocational students, I believe there are three mandatory classes. Keyboarding, computer applications and accounting must be present in the business education curriculum. These classes have practical application for students. At jobsites around the world, students will need these skills to succeed. Keyboarding is the most basic of these, but holds the most value. Without this skill, students will not succeed in the business world. The earlier this skill is learned, the better. Computer applications must be introduced at an early age also. With this skill students will be able to make a smooth transition into the workplace. Accounting is another skill that will be helpful for graduating students. They may not choose this specific field, but somewhere along the lines, they will encounter problems or scenarios where this background will be valuable. These three classes will prepare students for the working world. Leaving one of them out would leave a void in their education.