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Educational Theories Analysis: Vocational Training

Bearing in mind that the main purpose of education is the overall wellbeing of mankind both at individual level and at societal level. Vocational education tends to achieve contrary goals than what is expected of it in terms of individual and societal development. This paper presents an argument on why education should be more general than specialized as advocated for through vocational training. Focus has been put on the products of vocational education and general education.

The purpose of education should be to develop the human being in all aspects of life. This is what can be said to be perfection. According to Adler, education leads to growth of humanity in man by nurturing important aspects of his life for instance the moral and intellectual aspects are the ones that are developed through education so as to achieve certain levels of excellence. I would agree with him that it is true that the ultimate goal of education is indeed human happiness and the welfare of the society. That education after all produces good people who end up becoming responsible citizens of the nation.

Indeed in the view of the ancients’ conception that specialized education should be geared towards the human nature and not any other course. This is so because once it deviates from the specificity of human nature, education loses meaning to mankind as the courses pursued by the specialization tend to vary from one person to another. One main concern that has been clearly brought out by Adler, is the enslaving nature of specialized education. I do agree with him that vocational training has indeed enslaved many people. This is true in the sense that these people cannot work for other sectors just because they have only been trained to serve specific masters (employers).This is unlike people who have received liberal education who have freedom to choose for which party or course to serve. This is making good use of the freedom that comes with liberal education. In vocational training democracy has to a great extent been undermined. This is can be pointed out especially after people undergoing such training; they have little to say about what they earn from their jobs. It is only the employer who determines the pay and most of the decisions in such arrangements. This has implications that the products of vocational training are denied their own rights but they do not seem to comprehend the whole scenario.(Martin,1926)

Through vocational training there is deviation in the course of pursuing the common happiness to other individual vested interests that are not for the purpose of the well being of everybody. In this type of education with everybody focused in his area of specialization some people are likely to achieve happiness while others are not. The training for particular jobs that is advocated for by specialized education has brought out issues of inequality in the society. This is because the people coming out of such education as products are not all round citizens. That they are specialists and thus it makes them not suitable in certain areas of work. In certain areas there tends to be an overflow of professionals who are specialized for instance in the teaching profession while in areas such as medicine only a few individuals can be found.

From the school level point of view vocational training can be said to be the cause of the indifferences the exist in the students and even teachers. As opposed to liberal education which focuses on the situation of everybody , specialized training has tended to neglect other students since they are not in pursuit of the same goals. Such issues both in schools and colleges still put vocational education in question as to whether it can lead to responsible citizens in future. If the students have been brought up and schooled in such situations of indifference and not caring attitude, I doubt if they can be harmonized after going through the education system.

In support of Alders assertion that vocational training should be offered after completion of school and colleges by the various industries, I can mention that this indeed can reduce the burden the teachers have in schools and colleges and therefore create space for them to be more focused on ideals that would help everybody achieve the sole purposes of education which means happiness. Most of the people undergoing vocational training in schools and colleges have deficiency in the sense that they miss out important aspects of education which are supposed to bring them out as fully developed individuals in terms of moral and intellectual standards. This has been the case because of the work load put on the teachers in educational training institutions.(Martin 1926)

It is quite unfortunate that a system which is supposed to produce all round individuals to the country ends up giving out products that are indeed deficient of some important ingredients. This is all done at the expense of training someone for a specific job in form of vocational training.

Though vocational training can be perceived to be creating more productive individuals in their various areas of specialization, this can only be in the short term but looked at from a different approach one can be forced to postulate that specialized education to some extent wastes the potentials of individuals. This is the case because some forces come into play in influencing individuals into various areas of specialization for instance financial benefits that are associated with the different specialization areas. The consequence of this situation in the system is that people who come out of various fields fail to perform to their fullest because they were not interests to serve my to gain financially from their areas of specialization. As for the liberalized education a balance is reached between the forces that are involved in the entire process as asserted by the ancients.(Ann 1978)

In conclusion, it is important to mention that it is only through liberal education that all children in the society are expected to benefit whether rich or poor gifted or not. This is so because liberal education provides equal opportunity for all in a democratic atmosphere where the rights of everybody are recognized. This is unlike the vocational education which has tended to widen the gap between the gifted and the not gifted, the poor and the rich in the society. In view of the fact that all people have to be educated so as to be good citizens and achieve happiness education should be liberalized.


Ann Halstead Burleigh, Education in a Free Society (Liberty Press, 1973, 1978).

Martin, Everett Dean, The Meaning of a Liberal Education (Norton, 1926).


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