Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions And Attitudes Toward Career And Technical Education

Open Access
Napoleon, Larry
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
July 09, 2009
Committee Members:
  • John Daniel Marshall, Dissertation Advisor
  • John Daniel Marshall, Committee Chair
  • Murry R Nelson, Committee Member
  • Kenneth Gray, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Perceptions
  • Preservice Teachers
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Attitudes
  • Teacher Education Programs
Historically, divisions between academic and vocational education -- what is now commonly referred to as career and technical education (CTE) -- have been stark and consistent. Such divisions often create circumstances that sully the educational experience for teachers and students alike. With regard to CTE, many of these divisions stem from a lack of knowledge or familiarity with such programs. Unfamiliarity with CTE programs is typically accompanied by a lack of understanding of CTE students as well, particularly about their intentions and expectations. This study explores preservice teachers’ perceptions and attitudes toward career and technical education (CTE) in an effort to address these historical divisions. Questionnaire data were collected from secondary education majors representing multiple certification areas who were completing preservice teaching experiences as a requirement within their teacher education programs. Findings revealed a statistically significant difference between the perceptions and attitudes of participants who were graduates of comprehensive high schools (CHS) and those who were graduates of private schools, charter schools, or magnet schools (PCM). Results show that CHS graduates have a much better understanding of CTE than their PCM peers, and that the sources of knowledge identified by these two groups differed noticeably. While CHS graduates were far more likely to have identified their source of CTE knowledge as “high school-related exposure,” PCM graduates indicated “external exposure” knowledge sources as their leading influence. Within the construct of “external exposure,” PCM grads responded that media were significant contributors to their knowledge of CTE students in particular.