Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


This project entailed the development of a pre-vocational curriculum, involving a multiplicity of skills, for 6-8th grade Special Needs and At-Risk students. A curriculum offering relevant instruction between school and practical life will benefit these students. Many times, At-risk and Special Needs students work well with hands on projects that relate to real world skills. Historically, vocational education has involved hands on learning that allows students to learn by doing. More recently, vocational education has taken a back seat to more rigorous academic work in preparation for postsecondary school. It may be beneficial for At-risk and Special Needs students to apply a more practical approach to learning that facilitates success and works to develop a greater sense of self-esteem and of accomplishment while allowing student's access to interests and skills in relation to the world of work. Creating this curriculum involved solicitation of ideas from community members, vocational professionals and educators. These practical activities, based on specific content domains, were sorted and developed into eight lesson plans of curricular projects that align with the California State Vocational Standards. A scope and sequence was also developed that offers a structured breakdown of 2-hour lab times. Application of this curriculum will engage students within a classroom, as well as providing At-risk and Special needs students a positive experience of school and valuable skills for life.


Thesis (M.A.) Teacher Education Department