Using CTE to Foster Hands-on Learning

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that industries including healthcare, welding, automotive repair, and animal care will have some of the most robust job growth in the years to come. Many schools offer career and technical education classes that give students real-world work experience to help prepare them for their future careers. In this blog we will explore the importance of the hands-on component of CTE and the value CTE is adding to tomorrow’s workforce through hands-on learning.

About 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE programs in the United States. These programs are designed to prepare learners for the workforce by introducing them to workplace competencies and making academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context. Differentiated instruction, higher order thinking skills, and critical thinking are all integral facets of career and technical education. CTE offers students unmatched opportunities for career exploration, skill development and simply puts students ahead of the curve when pursuing their dream career.

The main goal of CTE instruction is to help students understand the concepts they are studying and how they translate into everyday work in the real world. Alice Keeler once said, "The person doing the work is the one doing the learning." When students have the opportunity to see and do what they are learning, their education becomes much more impactful. Unlike any other program or class offered in school today, the hands-on learning CTE students experience goes unmatched as students interact with tools and ideas used in the industry every day.

Career and Technical Education inherently fosters innovation, creativity and hands-on learning because of the work that students and educators are engaged in. When CTE educators empower their students to explore a topic further, they open their minds to the uncertainties surrounding a certain topic. Empowerment comes from allowing people to have a voice and feel supported in their ideas and actions. When engaging in hands-on learning with students push their creativity and curiosity. By doing this, educators are expanding the scope of what students learn and increase the likelihood students retain information as they discovered it themselves.

Training students and giving them the tools, skills and knowledge, they need to be successful in their future job and or college experience is the primary goal of career and technical education programs. CTE courses serve as the connecting piece between students’ academic and career journey in which they obtain skills and knowledge pertinent to their dream job. To learn more about fostering hands-on learning through CTE and the value CTE and hands-on learning are adding to the workforce stay tuned for more blog and keep an eye on our social media channels where we’ll be sharing more valuable resources.

About the Author

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Knikole Taylor has an extensive background in Career & Technical Education (CTE). She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M Commerce and her master’s in education administration from Lamar University. Taylor has 19 years of experience in public education including serving as a campus and district administrator for 9 years and a teacher for 10 years.

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