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History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe

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.

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Towards the Enhancement of School-Based VET in Finland


Abstract: The development of the national Finnish vocational education and training (VET) system started in 1809, when Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. In the mid-1800s Finland embarked on a period of rapid social and economic change, when the workforce gained the freedom to choose their places of both residence and work, thus signalling the ruin of the old guild system. School-based vocational education was considerably enhanced in Finland during the rebuilding period that followed the Second World War. Prior to the turn of the millennium, the Finnish VET was mainly organised by vocational schools, with few links between education and working life. In the 2000s, on-the-job learning (work-related learning) and vocational skills demonstrations were incorporated into the VET curriculum. The systematic development towards the world of work has changed the position of VET and increased its interest among applicants in recent years.

1.  Introduction

The special features of educational institutions seem to be related to the characteristics of national economies and national productive activities (Lash & Urry 1994, pp. 65–110). Educational institutions have responded to challenges arising from the social division of labour and the development of production technologies. In the past, when agrarian society rested on the structure of small local communities, there was no need for an established educational system because occupations were learned in the context of everyday work routines (Antikainen 1993, p. 103). In contrast to this, modern society was based on the ideas...

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