Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael F. Burnett

Second Advisor

Donna H. Redmann


The purpose of this study was to determine the current and ideal focus of the technical education program in Zimbabwe's secondary schools. Data were collected in Zimbabwe from 452 technical education professionals (397 technical teachers, 39 technical teacher educators, and 16 education officers for technical subjects). The technical teachers were all from Harare region, the teacher educators were from three technical teacher colleges, and the education officers were from all the nine educational regions in Zimbabwe. A three part researcher designed questionnaire was used to collect data for this study. Respondents rated 40 statements of purposes of technical education on a 5-point Likert-type scale, according to the extent they perceived (1) the technical education program to be currently emphasizing the stated purposes, and (2) according to the extent the stated purposes were ideal for the program. For each statement of purpose, a mean rating was established to determine the extent of emphasis. The emphasis mean ratings were used to calculate the program's current and ideal focus (i.e. general education or technical skills). The focus scores ranged from 20 to 100, with a higher focus score indicative of a stronger technical focus, and a lower score signifying a stronger general education emphasis. The three groups of technical education professionals perceived the same purposes to be currently being emphasized in the technical education program. However, the professionals differed on the ideal purposes of the program. The technical teachers preferred a more technical focus. Overall, the current focus scores for all groups were around 60, (the midpoint), an indication that the program has no clear focus and that the program is emphasizing both technical skills and general education. The study recommends the Ministry of Education in Zimbabwe to make a decision on what focus the technical education program in secondary schools should have. Once the focus has been identified, the Ministry should clearly communicate the desired focus to the program implementors. In addition, the Ministry should follow up and evaluate the technical education program to establish if the practice in the schools matches the desired outcome.