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An Analysis of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Vocational Technical Education Framework for Culinary Arts and Its Effectiveness on Students Enrolled in Post-Secondary Culinary Programs.

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This field-based action research practicum investigated how students who have completed culinary training programs in Massachusetts public secondary schools perform in post-secondary coursework. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed the Vocational Technical Education (VTE) Framework for Culinary Arts that outlines concepts and content that a student should know and be able to do. At Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (LCB) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, all entering students are enrolled in LCB Foundations. Because a strong association exists between the VTE Framework for Culinary Arts and the objectives for the LCB Foundations course, it was hypothesized that VTE students, who are expected to have acquired a firm foundation of culinary basics, would outperform graduates of traditional academic high school programs. Twenty randomly selected incoming LCB students, divided equally according to high school background, participated in the three phases of the study. Of the twenty students in the sample, ten had completed a VTE culinary arts program, while the remainder had no previous culinary training. Students completed a baseline assessment test, demonstrated knife handling abilities, and attended LCB Foundations. Numeric scores were awarded for each of the three components, and were averaged together to calculate a readiness score for each student. The research methodology involved comparing results for VTE students versus their non-VTE counterparts. The findings indicated that the VTE students performed no better than their non-VTE counterparts. It was recommended that public school administrators emphasize academics for all learners and institute articulation agreements to facilitate the transition of VTE students to college. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.)

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Author:D'Addario, Albert S.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:May 1, 2011
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