Trade School VS. Apprenticeship

The old way of learning a skill or how to preform a job was apprenticeship. Starting at a working age or younger, a kid/worker would go to a business, sweep the floors, and get their hands dirty until they had watched enough to touch the machines or tools. This is still the most honest way to learn a skill and the way that a student can refine themselves and tasks they are given. This type of learning helps the person not only learn this specific set of skills but lessons that can apply to the rest of live and learning opportunities. However, as the nation and world turned more industrial and automated the necessity of skilled workers has fallen some. The schooled workers have risen.

Trade schools pledge to offer this antique knowledge with a limited time span and fixed amount of money. There are a few problems with this style of schooling. (It is important to note there is a difference between schooling and education).

Not everyone learns at the same rate or in the same way. By limiting the time that a student is in school or learning situation, the no child left behind pandemic, it sets a rigid learning program that they must adhere to for paperwork saying "approved." But, what is a kid needs another week on a specific skill or lesson?

This need of adding time makes the student is instantly regarded as being too slow rather than being focused on doing things properly. With this flat learning experience one doesn't just lose the money for tuition but also the experience of dealing with customers, real deadlines, true quality standards, and the ability to learn at their own pace. These schools are not built for differentiation, they are built for bank rolls. Look at schools like Wyotech, ITT Tech, or various other trade schools to see how these "trained" workers come into the working world.  

Apprenticeship is the superior way of learning skills. A large part of this is one's mentor has a higher commitment to success for the apprentice. In a school situation the teacher neither gains or loses when a student fails or succeeds. But, a mentor can take on great lose if the apprentice fails. The mentor is giving time, typically with no additional pay, to pass along skills that have been earned over a lifetime of work. The fact that the education is based in real world experiences cannot be supplemented in the classroom. The mentor's goal is not to just pass the student through to the next phase of life but to allow for further success of his own business or profession. This added responsibility to the mentor makes the teaching experience richer for all parties involved. There are a lot of "tricks of the trade" that you can't learn in school because it doesn't come up in simulated realities. 

There is a great book called "The Dumbing Down of America" that talks about this averaging out of the American education system. This applies just a much to vocational schools. After all of this it doesn't mean that schooling can not be beneficial or shouldn't be pursued but when one wants to learn a skill they need to go to the professionals and learn from them in day-to-day working experiences.