What host of questions remains unexamined?”
The paper includes recommendations on curriculum trends likely to remain prominent for managing the interests of state and federal governments, the needs of individual students, the academic freedom of teachers, and the requirements of employers and the community.
Jackson’s statement is part of a debate on competency based education and training (CBET) that has gone on for decades despite wide acceptance in a growing number of developed and developing countries. Stevenson and Brown (1994) state that the main point of contention is the answer to the following question: what is the purpose of education? The varied answers explain why educators and policymakers are divided into three camps: those who see CBET as a pariah, as a panacea, or as neither of the two (Bowden, 1998). Hager (1994, cited in Jones, 1999, p. 156) traces these debates to the longstanding dispute on “vocational versus general education” and to the main issue of whether and to what extent vocationalism should drive education (Kerka, 1998).
CBET started out as a system of vocational instruction in U.S. factories early in the last century. Having experienced its effectiveness, U.S. policymakers applied competency based methods to teacher training in the late 1960s and used it a decade later to reform the curricula in other professions (Bowden, 1998). Its relative success helped it spread to other countries, notably the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand in the 1980s (Herschbach, 1991, p.3).
The evolution from competency based training (CBT) to CBET is evident in the design of a competency based curriculum that, like an evolving living creature, reflects the “genetic code” of its conceptual ancestors. Not only does the competency based curriculum of, say, a course in medicine adopt key principles from CBT, but the competency based curriculum of, say, a vocational training course