Vocational Education and Training for a Global Economy

Vocational Education and Training for a Global Economy Lessons from Four Countries

Edited by Marc S. Tucker, Foreword by Robert B. Schwartz and Nancy Hoffman
cloth, 264 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-390-1
Price: $66.00

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paper, 264 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-389-5
Price: $34.00

Add to Cart

Vocational Education and Training for a Global Economy investigates the greatly varying ways in which four countries—Singapore, Switzerland, China, and the United States—prepare young people for the twenty-first-century workplace. The book looks first at the highly successful vocational education and training (VET) systems in Singapore and Switzerland, describing them in revealing detail and accounting for the assumptions and social arrangements that account for their unique features. It then turns to the two largest—and arguably the most dynamic—nations in the world, China and the United States, and examines the differing conditions, goals, and arrangements that have affected their respective programs for preparing their citizens for present and future work.


The United States needs a new approach to preparing our young people for lasting success in lifelong education and career. This provocative book offers valuable insights from other countries. It also underscores that the most likely pathway will be uniquely American. We just have to figure it out. — Gary Hoachlander, president, ConnectED: The National Center for College and Career

Workers must be able to move easily between learning and earning over the course of their lives. Governments must respond to those needs by reinventing their educational systems, creating pathways to shared prosperity for all their citizens. Policy makers, legislators, and business leaders ready to meet that challenge could find no better starting point than this book. — Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America

In this volume, Tucker and three of his colleagues have produced a valuable comparative case study of VET in four societies—Singapore and Switzerland (both highly successful), and China and the US (large, complex societies with multiple evolving VET systems). — Choice

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About the Editor

Marc S. Tucker is the founder, former CEO and president, and, currently, a senior fellow at the National Center on Education and the Economy. A leader of the standards-driven education reform movement, Tucker has been studying the strategies used by the countries with the most successful education systems for three decades. He created New Standards, a precursor to the Common Core; the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; and the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce and its successor, the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. He also created the National Institute for School Leadership and was instrumental in creating the National Skill Standards Board.

Tucker authored the 1986 Carnegie Report, A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century, coauthored the report of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, America’s Choice: High Skills or Low Wages, and was lead author of Tough Choices or Tough Times, the report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. Tucker has coauthored or edited numerous books, including Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations (Basic Books, 1992); Standards for Our Schools: How to Set Them, Measure Them, and Reach Them (Jossey-Bass, 1998); The Principal Challenge: Leading and Managing Schools in an Era of Accountability (Jossey-Bass, 2002); and Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems (Harvard Education Press, 2011).

In 1994 Tucker was commended by President Bill Clinton for his contributions to the design of the Clinton administration’s education and job training proposals in the Rose Garden ceremony celebrating the passage of the legislation authorizing the program. In 2014 he was awarded the James Bryant Conant award by the Education Commission of the States for his outstanding individual contribution to American education.

Table of Contents


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