Cases, Concepts and Challenges
Edited By Esther Berner and Philipp Gonon
Understanding today’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems requires a comprehension of the rise and development, i.e. of the foundations of topical VET. This book provides a comparative view of its development in Europe. The contributions of renowned authors give insight into conceptual questions, cases and challenges in this field.
“Muddling Through” Once Again – The Long Term Development of the Dualistic Austrian VET System
Abstract: Austria with its specific “dualistic” structure, including both, a strong fulltime school sector and a strong apprenticeship system, lies in-between the established classifications of VET. This structure is not a result of “systemic” political decision-making; rather the different institutions have evolved more or less parallel. It is a remarkable phenomenon that the formal structure has remained quite stable through history, throughout very different regime periods (the Habsburg Empire, 1st Republic, two Fascisms, 2nd Republic). The challenges are first to identify the persistent structural traits, and second to explain the historical processes. Methodologically, the different versions of institutionalist approaches are used for the reanalysis of artefacts from historical studies; the main task is a consistent interpretation of the material, providing new insights about the long term patterns of education reform.
Austria has a specific “dualistic” structure of VET that lies in-between the established classifications, with a strong fulltime VET-school sector and a strong apprenticeship system. A new interpretation of the historical emergence of this structure is given by using institutionalist approaches and newly arranged statistic sources for reanalysing historical artefacts produced by more conventional approaches of educational history.1
Two challenges are taken up, first issues of classification and of the identification of persisting structural traits: how can we say that a structure, or elements of it, has persisted or changed? Second, how can ← 125 | 126 → we explain the historical emergence of the current structure? Have there been critical junctions where...
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