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Vocational Guidance in the United States

Nature volume 135, pages 180181 (02 February 1935) | Download Citation



THE vocational guidance scheme which has been in operation in Great Britain for twenty-one years was recently reviewed at the request of the Minister of Labour by a committee of the juvenile employment councils. On the other side of the Atlantic also the ‘coming of age’ of vocational guidance as a function of the State has been recognised, and the very wide implications of the ‘new deal’ in this regard are discussed by the associate professor of education and sociology in the University of Pittsburgh in an article in School Life of September. It is pointed out that, in the past, vocational guidance has to a large extent been stultified by the gross inequalities in occupational rewards-inequalities which it is one of the purposes of the ‘new deal’ to reduce. Further, it has been a matter of national pride that everyone has the right to aspire as high as he will, regardless not only of social position and antecedents but also of apparent qualifications of intellect and character, and however obvious it may be to a vocational adviser that his aspirations are incommensurate with his abilities. Now for the first time the view is tenable that society will not tolerate the waste involved in maintaining this conception, already largely illusory, of the individual's right to freedom of choice of occupation. A guidance far more positive and compelling than hitherto will obviously enhance the importance of the agencies responsible for it and, moreover, all teachers, supervisors and curriculum-makers will be increasingly preoccupied with their function of exploring and testing their pupils' capabilities.

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