Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Frederick L. Dembowski

Second Advisor

Richard Cohen

Third Advisor

Timothy Chung

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between vocational education and the development of regional social economy, as related to the background of the current reform of the vocational and educational system in China. It also reviewed and analyzed the reform of vocational educational systems in six regions in China. In particular, this study investigated the interrelationship between labor force resources, urban and rural vocational education and the development of social economy. The special phenomena accompanying vocational education and the economic development were illustrated. Research explored the importance and impact of vocational education on the economic and social development.

From this study, guidelines for the development of vocational education to improve economic conditions in China were found. As disclosed by the analysis, the major problems in the current vocational education reform in China are the hindered mechanism, the insufficient outlay and the shortage of professional teachers. Vocational education, which aims at popularizing and propagating science and technology, hasn't been able to bring new science and technology into the existing specialty and curricula structure in a timely manner. Suitable and corresponding adjustments have not been made. However, after China entered the WTO (World Trade Organization), changes in the industrial structure and the labor market, transformation of the economy and hi-tech and service industry exerted a considerable influence on the development of vocational education in China.

From these findings, it can be seen that the development of vocational education in China is closely related to the development of regional economy and society; therefore, it is necessary to study vocational education reform and development and the macroscopic background of the economic development, particularly regional economic development. At the same time, in accordance with the demands of social and economic development, it is also necessary to explore the new growth points in vocational education, especially how to establish life long vocational education institutions in enterprise communities or rural production communities.

This study made a layout for the developmental prospects of vocational education in China and pointed out that the most important competition in the future world will be the competition of science and technology, keeping qualified scientists and technicians, and vocational education which trains a great number of technical laborers. While mightily promoting the development of the market economy, China should prepare for the challenge of the globalization of the knowledge economy.

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