Foundations of Technical Education
FEDERAL AND STATE LEGISLATION
SELECT "LEADER" FOR PRESENTATION
You learned in previous chapters that the disciplines in which we teach evolved from early
civilizations. The history of our efforts to learn to work and about the characteristics of
work have paralleled the development of history in general. The first attempts to learn
about various types of work, skills, or artistic endeavors were very disorganize. Work was
directly related to survival in most cases and primarily concentrated in the family. As
skill-related training evolved, apprenticeship was followed by attempts to train workers by
such methods as guilds and mechanicís institutes.
In the United States, Colonial Americans attempted to utilize similar methods of work
related training as European ancestors. The Civil War time period in the
U. S. brought about the need for more and better educated workers. The summary which
follows lists and briefly describes some of the major legislation which has influenced
vocational / technical education through the years. The funding provided through this
legislation has had a tremendous impact on our history.
†††† Northwest Ordinances
†††† Morrill Act of 1862
†††† Morrill Act of 1890
†††† Hatch Act of 1887
†††† Douglas Commission (1905)
†††† Commission on National Aid to Vocational Education (1914)
†††† Smith - Lever Act of 1914
†††† Smith - Hughes Act of 1917
†††† Smith - Sears Act of 1918
†††† Smith - Bankhead Act of 1920
†††† George - Reed Act of 1929
†††† George - Ellgey Act of 1934
†††† George - Deen Act of 1936
†††† Fitzgerald Act of 1937
†††† National Defense Act of 1940
†††† Walsh - Clark Act of 1943
†††† Public Law 346 (1943)
†††† George - Barden Act of 1946
†††† Public Law 550 (1952)
†††† National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958
†††† Area Redevelopment Act of 1961
†††† Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) of 1962
†††† Vocational Education Act of 1963
†††† Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
†††† Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965
†††† Higher Education Act of 1965
†††† Vocational Education Amendments (1968)
†††† Vocational Education Amendments (1972)
†††† Vocational Education Amendments (1976)
†††† Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1984
†††† Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990
The sections which follow provide a brief summary of each of the legislative acts which
have impacted vocational and technical education through the years. The summaries are in
chronological order. Notice that the acts which are considered most important for our
disciplines are larger in size.
†††† Northwest Ordinances of 1785 -- set aside sections of land to be used by townships
†††† for the development of schools. This ordinance and another which followed in 1787
†††† were the first instances of Federal support for education.
†††† Morrill Act of 1862 -- 30,000 acres of public land were provided to each state to be
†††† used for preparing people for "agriculture and mechanical arts." These were the
†††† beginnings of the "A & Ms" or land grant colleges as we know them today. The
†††† Morrill Act of 1890 provided funding increases for years to come to support the
†††† colleges. These acts set up public funding of universities. Note that vocational /
†††† technical education was the primary emphasis for funding.
†††† Hatch Act of 1887 -- set up agriculture and engineering experiment stations. The
†††† purpose of this act was to promote research.
†††† Douglas Commission (1905) -- Massachusettsís Governor Douglas appointed this
†††† commission to study the need for vocational education. The commission was led by
†††† C. A. Prosser (who also initiated the American Vocational Association). The
†††† commission set up several public hearings in the state which indicated widespread
†††† interest in vocational education, lack of skilled workers in industries, and that public
†††† schools were doing little for meeting the needs of industry and society at the time.
†††† The work of this group led the way for other states to form similar groups to study
†††† vocational education.
†††† Commission on National Aid to Vocational Education (1914) -- President Woodrow
†††† Wilson set up the commission to study the need for vocational education, need for
†††† Federal funding, kinds of vocational education needed, and the conditions under
†††† which funding should be granted. The efforts of this group influenced the passage of
†††† the Smith-Hughes Act which was so instrumental in developing vocational education
†††† in the U. S.
†††† Smith - Lever Act of 1914 -- provided extension programs in agriculture and home
†††† Smith - Hughes Act -- 1917 - $7.2 million per year of matching funds
†††† was appropriated to states for agriculture, home economics, and trade and industrial
†††† education (T & I). As a result of this act a Federal board for vocational education
†††† was established. The act required that states submit a state plan for funding
†††† annually. We should note that the funding was for education of less that college
†††† grade and designed to meet the needs of persons over 14 years of age who had
†††† entered upon or who were preparing to enter the workforce.
†††† Smith - Sears Act of 1918 -- provided vocational rehabilitation funding for WW I
†††† veterans to return to civilian employment.
†††† Smith - Bankhead Act of 1920 - civilian rehabilitation for anyone injured in industry
†††† was appropriated for retraining.
†††† George - Reed Act of 1929 -- $2.5 Million for a five year period was passed to
†††† supplement the Smith- Hughes Act for the areas of home economics and agriculture.
†††† George - Ellgey Act of 1934 -- provided additional funding for trade and industrial
†††† education (T & I).
†††† George - Deen Act of 1936 -- $12 Million per year was for agriculture, home
†††† economics, T & I, and Distributive Education.
†††† Fitzgerald Act of 1937 - revitalized apprenticeship by directing the establishment of
†††† standards to guide industry in employing and training apprentices. The Act also set
†††† up programs for training apprentices according to National standards.
†††† National Defense Act of 1940 -- provided funds for vocational education for war
†††† production workers. This Act encouraged rapid training of workers, primarily women,
†††† who were trained for industrial work to support the war effort.
†††† Walsh - Clark Act of 1943 - provided vocational rehabilitation for WW II veterans.
†††† Public Law 346 (1943) -- better known as the GI Bill of Rights provided college or
†††† vocational education for veterans.
†††† George - Barden Act of 1946 -- supplemented the Smith-Hughes Act by providing
††† †$28 Million for agriculture, home economics, T & I, and distributive education. The
†††† programs of vocational education were broadened since additional funds could be
†††† spent for equipment and vocational guidance.
†††† Public Law 550 (1952) -- served as the GI Bill for Korean War veterans and
†††† authorized funds for college or vocational education.
†††† National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958 -- provided "area" vocational
†††† education programs for national defense needs.
†††† Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 -- provided vocational training funds for
†††† economically depressed areas.
†††† Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) of 1962 -- provided funds for
†††† training and upgrading of workers for vocations needing qualified workers. This Act
†††† expanded the ARA of 1961 since location was not a consideration. Funds were made
†††† available for unemployed and underemployed individuals.
†††† Vocational Education Act of 1963 -- "modernized" vocational
†††† education by providing for more program flexibility. All types of employment, less
†††† than a Bachelorís degree, could be funded. Funds for secondary programs, persons
†††† who have completed or left high school, upgrading or retraining, social -, economic-,
†††† or physically- disadvantaged, and construction of vocational centers were provided.
†††† The Honorable Carl Perkins of Kentucky ;and representative Wayne Morris of
†††† Oregon established this most important legislation.
†††† Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- provided funds for economically depressed
†††† areas. The Job Corps was created as a result of this Act.
†††† Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 -- provided money for the
†††† "practical arts" and thus broadened educational opportunities.
†††† Higher Education Act of 1965 -- developed and strengthened teacher education
†††† programs at colleges and universities.
†††† Vocational Education Amendments (1968) - were enacted to "maintain, extend and
†††† improve vocational education" in the U. S.
†††† Vocational Education Amendments (1972) -- expanded programs and facilities,
†††† particularly in community colleges.
†††† Vocational Education Amendments (1976) -- extended funding of previous vocational
†††† Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1984--
†††† enacted to make the US more competitive in the world economy by developing the
†††† academic-occupational skill of all segments of the population. Mr. Perkins died in
†††† 1984, probably the most influential person in vocational-technical education of this
†††† time period.
†††† Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990 --
†††† encouraged improving programs and skills for workers in a technologically advanced
†††† society. Funds were divided as 75% secondary, post-secondary and adult programs;
†††† 10% special programs, and the remainder for state administration, and correctional
Evans, Rupert M., Foundations of Vocational Education, Columbus, OH: Merill, 1971.
Roberts, Roy W., Vocational and Practical Arts Education: History, Development, and
principles, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1957.
For Further Study
1. List at least five sources you can use to find information on Federal funding for
2. Why was the Smith-Hughes Act so influential in establishing vocational education
3. How did the Vocational Education Act of 1963 improve vocational education?
4. How has the Perkins Act of 1984 impacted vocational / technical education?
5. How have practical arts classes been affected by Federal legislation?
††††† Leaders Presentations
†††† Francois Rabelais --
†††† John Amos Comenius --
†††† John Locke --
†††† Jean Jacques Rousseau--
†††† Johann Pestalozzi --
†††† Fredrick Froebel --
†††† Philip von Fellenberg --
†††† Uno Cygnaeus --
†††† Otto Salomon --
†††† John D. Runkle --
†††† Calvin M. Woodward --
†††† Victor Della Vos --
†††† John Dewey --
†††† Robert W. Selvidge --
†††† Charles A. Prosser--
†††† James E. Russell --
†††† Fredrick Bonser --
†††† William E. Warner --