How/why “Leadership in CTE”, as Applied to Teachers, Has Become a Critical Issue
Kroth notes the argument by Gregson and Allen who noted, “It is clear the field [of CTE] is in a situation nearing a crisis” (Kroth, 1997). He notes that those who were aspiring to lead CTE should urgently swing to action and give a prescription concerning the future of the field. According to him, the survival of CTE could only be possible if its structures were to be changed. They indicated that the inability of CTE leaders to control their destiny would only work to invite other people to do the same. It is because the present structure and leadership of CTE cannot allow it to withstand the forces of change, which had been swirling vigorously.
It indicates that the leadership in CTE, as applied to teachers, has become a significant issue. In fact, leadership in both technical education and career has increasingly become difficult. Professionals have been prepared through programs, which have “declined at research extensive and land grant universities” (Kroth, 1997). Therefore, there has been a failure in the research about the field’s analysis as well as on its leadership’s evaluation. Important programs on career and technical education have continuously been on the decline. It happened due to the pushing of such programs through the public policy impetus to the postsecondary level. Even as this is happening, demand has been increasing while resources continue to shrink. Since CTE is applicable at various levels and has a number of purposes, it has remained difficult for teachers to understand leadership. Equally, the field is also susceptible to challenges affecting the higher education as well as the nation as a whole. Thus, it cannot be disputed that leadership to CTE with regards to teachers has become a critical issue.
Possible Strategies that CTE Programs Can Offer to Solve te Issue
One strategy that can be used by CTE as identified by Folk (1997) is allowing institutions to integrate Porters’ model in the programs meant to offer leadership solutions. In this case, CTE should act as a group of higher education institutions responsible for producing post-secondary and secondary educators. The model perfectly fits educational institutions since the change in any of the five areas represented by the Porter’s forces can completely change the competitive nature of the field.
Just like other organizations, education institutions are faced with barriers related to new entries that stiffen competition in the education field. CTE programs can equip its trainees to understand what to do when there is high demand for teachers while the supply remains low. The field has been appealing and attractive for new entrants. Apart from the long serving institutes for higher education, additional competitors like private institutions and community colleges have entered the field. Incorporating the analysis and knowledge of such entrants in their training programs can enable CTE to equip its institutional leaders to be able to identify areas that can make them remain competitive.
Concerning suppliers’ bargaining power, the CTE needs to let the leaders of its institutions know that whenever there are few potential teachers or faculties to be suppliers it will be easy to acquire best teachers because of low prices. However, whenever there is high demand and low supply, the CTE institutions will lose bargaining power to its teachers and will have to pay them higher benefits and salaries to maintain them.
By empowering their institutions to consider the bargaining power of the buyer, CTE will enable them to relate well with its sponsors like federal granting institutions and state as well as potential teachers. The leaders must know that whenever these buyers have substitutes/alternativves for the teaching career or CTE, the buyers will have more powers and must be lured and maintained with appropriate strategies.
It is the same case whenever potential teachers are able to secure other opportunities with the more attractive benefits than they can be provided for in CTE institutions. As a strategy, the leaders of CTE institutions must be in tandem with the changes in the field to know whenever their funding agencies and potential teachers find alternatives. It will allow them to adjust to match the new substitutes, and thus remain competitive.
There is also need for CTE leadership training to equip their leaders to have a better understanding of the intensity of rivalry among the firms in the education field. This will enable CTE education institutions to take measures that can allow them to position themselves to advantage. These can be through differentiating of their proposals or improving efficiency of the teachers’ learning experience while also seeking to be more attractive to funding and students.
Apart from the incorporation of the Porters’ model, there is also a need for a well-developed theoretical base to be used in CTE. This would require the introduction of leadership development programs guided by effective standards for national leadership development. There is also a need for the identification and incorporation of attributes necessary for vocational educators as well as clearly defined policies in the program for leadership development
In conclusion, leadership in CTE as applied to teachers has become very challenging. Therefore, CTE must seek for strategies that can help to increase both the number of the existing leaders in CTE and their potential in conjunction with the developing of new leaders. Apart from other strategies, the trainees will need to have a better understanding of the Porters’ five forces and how they apply to the education field.
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